New York City FC

Ronny Deila sees the Hudson River Derby as a 'big challenge' for NYCFC

Lizzy Becherano
New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila prepares for the Hudson River Derby
New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila prepares for the Hudson River Derby / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila admits the Hudson River derby stands as a "big challenge" as a loss or draw could swiftly knock them off a 2021 MLS playoff position.

The New York City side currently sits in sixth place, while the Red Bulls trail behind in ninth place with only a three-point difference. A victory for NYFB on Sunday could make all the difference in clenching them a postseason spot. 

At this point in the season, it only takes one result to have the necessary impact. 

The Red Bulls have proved to be the more dominant side in the past, as NYCFC don’t hold the best track record when it comes to the Hudson River derby. The boys in blue have managed to win only six out of a total 20 meetings, losing 11 and drawing three. 

“It’s a local derby, I don’t think there’s any problem to get them going," Deila said. "It’s a big challenge for us, we need to get a victory against them. I know we can do it, it means a lot. When you look at the standings, every point matters. Motivation is not a problem.”

“Our top level is really, really high which is exciting but our bottom level is way too low. That happens when you have a lot of young players, the level goes up and down. The Red Bulls have a young team too, I’m sure they agree with that. But we need to get our good moments more often and our lower level to be better. If we do that, we are capable to do anything.” 

Despite multiple MLS Cup efforts, New York City FC have yet to lift a trophy. Both the owners and Deila have emphasized the importance of silverware this season after several failed attempts in the league cup and Concacaf Champions League. 

“Our goal is to win something,” stated Deila.