The often-entertaining New York derby took another twist Friday when Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch resigned two days before his team was scheduled to face New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.
Marsch, the winningest coach in team history with a 58-35-25 record in 3 1/2 seasons, is expected to join German club Red Bull Leipzig in some capacity. The teams have the same owner.
Former Chicago Fire and U.S. midfielder Chris Armas was promoted to replace Marsch.
“We are excited for (Armas) to take this opportunity and know he will perfectly represent our club,” Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre said.
New York City FC (9-4-4, 31 points) knows what their neighbors are experiencing. NYCFC coach Domenec Torrent is 1-1-0 since Patrick Vieira left to become the coach of OGC Nice in France, with a loss last week to Chicago snapping a three-game win streak.
The Red Bulls (10-4-2, 32 points) are second to Atlanta United (11-4-4, 37 points) in the Eastern Conference, with three games in hand. NYCFC is third, with two games in hand.
The Red Bulls beat New York City 4-0 at Red Bull Arena on May 5 in MLS play, a month before winning by the same score line in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
“We have two losses to them this year. We have a bad taste in our mouth,” NYCFC defender Ben Sweat said. “We have no excuse ... but to show up, not for ourselves but for the fans that are always there to support us.”
The Red Bulls will have Panamanian defender Michael Amir Murillo available with his return from the World Cup.
“To come back and go right into the match is something I’m looking forward to,” he said.
NYCFC star forward David Villa is questionable due to a knee injury.
The Red Bulls have won three straight in MLS play and have outscored opponents 20-8 during a 7-1-2 stretch. They are 4-3-1 on the road; NYCFC is 7-0-1 at home.
—Field Level Media