The first New York derby in Major League Soccer took place this weekend, as the two sides battled it out for bragging rights in the Big Apple.
In the run up to the game, a fan-based incentive was introduced to prove who the best supported team in the city was. The club with the most popularity then had the honour of having their team colours illuminated above the city as it was beamed out of the iconic Empire State Building. Fans were encouraged in the city, and around the world, to get behind their team on social media by tweeting #WinNYCFC for New York City Football Club, or #WinNYRB for the New York Red Bulls. Although they were only announced as the 20th franchise in the MLS midway through 2013, New York City FC have been busy recruiting not only world class players, such as David Villa and Frank Lampard, but also it seems support from off the pitch. The engaging initiative finally came to a close on Saturday evening, on the eve of the historic derby, with the young apprentice conquering social media and lighting the beacon blue!
‘A spectacle unlike anything we’ve ever seen!’
Social media is now playing a prominent role in different industries, as this sporting occasion proved. A sell out crowd of nearly fifty-thousand spectators were live at the game, whilst millions of viewers from around the world were attracted to the match that has been dubbed the ‘next great rivalry’.
The blue flash was unfortunately not enough to spark the new MLS squad into life, with the New York Red Bulls comfortably winning 3 goals to 1 at the Yankee Stadium. Frank Lampard, who is expected to play his first match for NYCFC in the next fortnight, was in attendance a he watched his new club battle against the already well established Red Bulls squad. If the club can replicate the success they are having outside of the game and bring it onto the field, then there is no doubt that the future of the MLS looks bright. New acquisitions who could potentially link up with the squad, including the rumoured Italian legend Andrea Pirlo, will certainly take the club from strength to strength. Benefitting not only the footballing standard across the pond, but also the quality and excitement that the Big Apple derby needs! I for one am incredibly excited about their next encounter.
ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO BY JAMES O'ROURKE