Was NYCFC’s loss the worst in MLS history?

The 7-0 thrashing of NYCFC by the Red Bulls could be the most embarrassing performance of all time in the MLS.

Rivalry games are supposed to mean something extra to the two teams involved. Apparently only New York Red Bulls got that memo.

Still in its infancy, the Hudson River Derby already has a historic match for its record books. The seven goal margin ties the highest in MLS history. The Red Bulls obliterated NYCFC beginning to end in the rivalry game, which was a home match for the boys in blue! It wasn’t just the final scoreline of 7-0 beat down at home that was embarrassing for NYCFC, it was how they lost.

Outside of the season debuts of Frank Lampard and rookie Jack Harrison, the home side seemed disinterested. Allowing two header goals off corners to relentless, but diminutive, Dax McCarty showed a lack of effort in physically preventing him from launching himself undeterred at the ball. The other brace was scored by Bradley Wright-Phillips.

His first came after Mike Grella went right at R.J. Allen with his usual strong skill moves on the ball. He got to the end line and sent a ball in to BWP. There was a defender right on him, but he made no real effort to get between the forward and the cross or to deflect the header that Wright-Phillips sent past keeper Josh Saunders.

His second came on a ball in the air, where again, a defender was on him but just in position, not offering much physical resistance. BWP casually bicycle kicked the ball past the defenders and again past Saunders. BWP was the assist man on another of the Red Bulls’ goals, capitalizing on a defensive miscue, and leaving a good ball to Alex Muyl, who easily blasted home his first career MLS goal. The other two goals came on two more lackluster defensive efforts on set pieces. One was a free kick ,where NYCFC let Gonzalo Verón fade to the back post to knock in the easiest header he’ll have in his career. The other, a scramble off of a corner, left Gideon Baah right in front of the net to tap in the loose ball. 

Seven goals allowed in total by NYCFC. The defensive effort and execution was to blame, Saunders was abysmal in the goal, but what can’t be lost was the other number on the scoreline: Zero for NYCFC. They actually led possession by a 58%-42% margin.

They were able to get off 11 shots, but only two on goal, giving keeper Luis Robles a couple saves to keep him occupied while his Red Bulls poured in goals at the other end. You will not see a worse performance in the MLS, and it’s something that hopefully will get NYCFC fired up as they push forward this season.

These two teams meet again July 3rd, another home match for NYCFC at Yankee Stadium. They owe it to their club, their fans, and themselves to give a better effort and find a better result in the next chapter of this rivalry.