This is an opinion piece and might not represent the views of other members.
The match this Sunday against the Red Bulls is much more than a geographical rivalry game. This is arguably NYCFC’s most important match in its short history. Heck, this could be the most important soccer match in New York history. You might be thinking, “We already had a match against the Red Bulls.” That is correct, but this is the first Hudson Derby in New York on our home turf of Yankee Stadium. This match represents the immeasurable effort it took to bring a soccer team to this city. New York City is one of the biggest markets in the country. The people of New York are passionate soccer fans, supporting teams all over the world. When NYCFC was announced as an expansion franchise, it was like we had something to call our own. Most of us cannot make it out to Harrison, New Jersey. Most of us are born and raised in the New York Metropolitan area. We needed a soccer team for ourselves. We now have it and we have to have to be the passionate supporters that we are known for being this weekend.
The Third Rail is not the only supporters group of this team; we are just the only officially recognized one. In order to give the players the strength that they need and to show the Red Bulls fans whose house this is, we need to unite as one. I am talking about all of the supporters groups, which include the Third Rail, Hearts of Oak, Brown Bag Social Club, the Blue Ladies, Los Templados, and others. Everybody in the supporters’ sections from 235 all the way to 238 needs to be singing their hearts out. In fact, if you are part of one of the groups, but you are sitting somewhere else in the stadium help people around you learn the lyrics to our songs and make it so everybody around Yankee Stadium is cheering on the boys in blue. We also need to not conflict with each other. Far too many times, I see that there are multiple chants going on in the bleachers. That simply cannot happen. We need the whole bleachers to be singing one chant. It will sound really cool and it will sound united. If somebody starts singing a different chant than what is going on, don’t be afraid to tell him or her to stop and tell him or her what chant we are on.
This is a hot topic, but we need to be on our best behavior. Even though Yankee Stadium doesn’t treat us properly, they still have all the power as of this moment. We need to abide by their rules. So that means don’t curse at security employees. We need to show MLS and the club and security that we can listen to some of their rules and then they will start being more lenient. There are other ways besides the smoke to show our fandom and support. Sing as loud as you can. Do the rush hour rally in the 60th minute. Have fun, but be responsible and don’t be hooligans.
We lost the first derby. One of the goals could have been called offside, but neither here nor there, we still lost. At that point in the season, we were down and out. We were near the bottom of the table. And then our season turned around. After draws to the Chicago Fire and the Houston Dynamo, NYCFC has rattled off three straight league wins and played well in a crushing defeat to the Cosmos in the US Open Cup. Going into this second meeting with the Red Bulls, the boys in blue are hot. David Villa is starting to out together a season that is up there with the best players in the league. On the other hand, the Red Bulls are on a bit of a losing streak; actually it’s now four in a row. The tides have turned since May 10th. The momentum is in the favor of NYC. Now it is our job to unite and support the team like it is our last match.
HAIL THE RAIL.