Harrison, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Red Bull New York will open Red Bull Arena for the 2015 season with a rivalry match as the club gets set to host D.C. United on Sunday.
With both clubs coming off of bye weeks, it should be a lively and entertaining affair at Red Bull Arena as both sides aim to maintain their unbeaten starts to the season.
New York got off the mark with a very solid performance at Sporting Park, riding a Lloyd Sam equalizer to a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City.
United, meanwhile, managed to claim three points from its first contest, grinding out a narrow home win over the Montreal Impact.
New York and D.C. have combined to produce one of the fiercest rivalries in MLS, which was perfectly exhibited throughout the 2014 season.
They met five times last term with United getting the better of the Red Bulls by earning three wins.
But New York had the last laugh, winning when it mattered most by prevailing in the Eastern Conference semifinals to eliminate D.C. from the playoffs at RFK Stadium for the first time in club history.
That result has been in the minds of D.C. players for some time, and the club will be out for a bit of revenge when it travels up I-95 to Red Bull Arena on Sunday.
"There's a lot of bitterness toward the way we finished last year," midfielder Nick DeLeon told United's official website. "It won't rectify it, but it will help it feel better if we come out there and spoil their home opener."
Chris Pontius echoed those sentiments, adding that the bye week has only fueled United's motivation to claim a result at RBA.
"We've had New York on our minds since we reported for practice last week," the United striker told the club's official site. "Once the Montreal game was done, I think people were looking forward to it. You kind of wish it was the next week."
The last time the two sides met at Red Bull Arena was during the playoffs when New York dominated in a 2-0 victory.
Bradley Wright-Phillips and Peguy Luyindula provided the goals, but it was Thierry Henry who produced stunning assists on both strikes. And with the fabled Frenchman no longer with the club, new head coach Jesse Marsch will be hoping that Sacha Kljestan can take up the mantle and offer some creativity going forward.