Takeaways as NYCFC get the better of Red Bulls in Hudson River Derby

  • NYCFC recorded their third-straight MLS victory with win over Red Bulls
  • The win was NYCFC's ninth victory over RBNY since their inaugural 2015 season
  • Goals from Monsef Bakrar and Hannes Wolf were enough for NYCFC to see off their rivals
NYCFC picked up a 2-1 triumph over RBNY
NYCFC picked up a 2-1 triumph over RBNY / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

NYCFC continued their impressive run of form with a 2-1 triumph over bitter rivals New York Red Bulls Saturday night.

The Boys in Blue claimed bragging rights in the latest edition of the Hudson River Derby at Citi Field in front of a crowd of 30,000-plus fans. Goals from Hannes Wolf and Monsef Bakrar sealed all three points for the hosts as they climbed into third place -- and past Red Bulls -- in the Eastern Conference table.

It was just what the doctor ordered for NYCFC after a poor start to the 2024 Major League Soccer campaign. With head coach Nick Cushing appearing to have righted the ship in NYC, the Eastern Conference club could go on a run to continue their progression up the division's standings.

The Boys in Blue extend win third-straight match

NYCFC keep on winning
NYCFC keep on winning / Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The win over Red Bulls not only meant that NYCFC claimed bragging rights for the first meeting of 2024, but it also meant that Cushing's side won their third consecutive MLS match. In the bigger picture, NYCFC have now won six of their last seven matches in league play after starting the campaign off with just one win from their first seven matches played.

It's been a remarkable turnaround for NYCFC and Cushing as they've now managed seven victories this term. Should the Blues steer clear of injuries, they could be a team to watch out for as the season unfolds.

Hannes Wolf continues impressive start in his new surroundings

NYCFC shelled out just over $2m to acquire Wolf's services from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach in the offseason to bolster their attacking unit.

It's fair to say that price tag is looking more like a bargain with each passing match that Wolf plays. Wolf -- who comes from the Red Bull family having played for RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig -- may have scored only his second goal of the season, but what an important strike and brilliant piece of individual skill it was in the third minute of the contest.

The 25-year-old is now up to two goals and four assists on the campaign having featured in 13 of Cushing's starting lineups in 2024. The sky is the limit for where NYCFC could finish in the East with the underrated Wolf now part of an attack that also boasts Santiago Rodriguez, Agustin Ojeda and Julian Fernandez.

Monsef Bakrar gets off the mark in 2024

Bakrar opens his 2024 account
Bakrar opens his 2024 account / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to NYCFC's win over RBNY, Bakrar had gone 12 appearance -- 10 starts -- without scoring a goal for the Blues.

The Algeria international silenced his critics after coming on as a substitute in the second half, finding the back of the net with a simple finish that was teed up by right-back Tayvon Gray. Bakrar's 64th-minute strike put NYCFC in front after Cameron Harper's first-half strike just before the break.

The goal was Bakrar's fourth for NYCFC in 24 appearances since joining last summer from
NK Istra 1961, and the 23-year-old will hope to build on his winning strike to play his part in the Eastern Conference side's winning streak.