Not yet rivals Union, Red Bulls show little animosity in first meeting

Posted on 24 April 2010 by ASN Staff

The Philadelphia Union picked a curious time to play their first match without picking up so much as a yellow card. The New York Red Bulls had only one such infraction in the teams’ much-anticipated first meeting of the season (a second half yellow card to Mike Petke). This was not a case of MLS referees being MLS referees either. There simply weren’t any rough challenges or verbal barbs by either side. The only exchange worth noting was between members of the same team, when Bouna Condoul, Tim Ream, Mike Petke and various Red Bulls coaches argued over who would take goal kicks.

The Red Bulls seemed to do more arguing among themselves than with their opponents ©Scott Marsh/ASN

To a man, Red Bulls players said they did not feel any of the animosity typically felt between traditional rivals.
“There wasn’t really that much rivalry,” said midfielder Danleigh Borman. “But people are saying it’s a rivalry.”

“I don’t think today felt like a rivalry, it being their first time coming up here” said Jeremy Hall.

“There wasn’t much of the chippiness,” added Tim Ream.

“Normally in a derby game it’s the first 30 minutes: a lot of freekicks, tackles, battle and then the game settles down,” said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe in the postgame press conference (the first part of which can be listened to here). “But it was a rather quiet game, in a way.”

“It’s too early to get any emotion out of it,” said Borman. “It isn’t that much of a derby, but I’m sure down the years….it will be much more of a derby.”

Hall agreed. “I think it will definitely turn into a rivalry, us being so close and whatnot,” he said. “I’m sure when we go down to Philly later in the year a lot of our fans are going to go out there so I think it is going to be a great rivalry with games to come…I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be awesome to play in.”

Hall, Borman and others will likely get their first chance tomorrow night in the U.S. Open Cup game. Both could see starts. More on that later.

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