The fact that an NYCFC fan beat me #nycsoccerwarz-style to posting on my own platform left me pretty embarrassed (not as embarrassed as DC United fan doing it, mind you.) So here you go—an #RBNY photo series. My old, beat-up iPhone gave out by half time, so you‘ll see another photo series from Red Bull Arena sometime soon—I’ll bring the battery pack and everything.
In the meantime, here’s my first installment. The Red Bulls played the LA Galaxy on an alternating cloudy and sunnny day.
Let’s just get this out of the way. Yes, they are the New York Red Bulls. But yes, they play in New Jersey. Just like many of New York’s sports teams. And while its currently cool to watch the “new” team in the terrible soccer stadium known as Yankee Stadium, I will gladly travel to Harrison, New Jersey, to watch a game in a real soccer stadium.
Yes, the PATH is kinda slow. The upside is I get lots of reading in while traveling. And the short walk form the PATH has become something of a rite of passage with my fellow New York/New Jersey soccer fans.
I’ll be completely honest. When NYCFC was getting started, I considered trading in my Red Bulls tickets for ones in the Bronx. Then I went to see Liverpool play Man City at Yankee Stadium. Now I’ll never have season tickets for NYCFC as long as they play at Yankee Stadium. You can’t even compare Yankee Stadium to Red Bulla Arena when watching soocer.
Maybe it’s MLS or maybe it’s New Jersey, but Red Bulls games have a different tone to them than other sports events. There are a lot less drunk, obnoxious fans screaming profanities. There are families. There are kids on the field at half time (I saw a true golazo from an 8 year old today). It feels like a welcoming environment for those of us who like sports but dislike the brotude involved with much of it.
And a stadium made for soccer—surprise!—displays the beautiful game, beautifully.
The Red Bulls kits haven’t changed much since the Energy Drink bought the team in 2006. Those of us on the OCD spectrum could probably point out the Adidas stripe colors or the abysmal “swirl” years, but by and large the Red Bulls jerseys have looked much the same.
But one thing that has changed are the names on the backs of the shirts. A lot of Cahills and Henrys were out and about today (which makes sense), but a few earlier names made an appearance as well. Shout out to the guy wearing the early Dane Richards’ jersey that is now fashionably back in style.
I’m not a Supporter’s Section type. I think it’s because I like to sit. Also because I love my center line seats. And I would probably lose my voice if I yelled like the Suppoeter’s Sections do. And, and, and. But if you want to experience what an American soccer crowd is like, you could do a lot worse than the cheap Supporter’s Section seats.
The Supporter’s Sections at Red Bull Arena are fantastic. And unlike that new team, there are traditions to our team. At an upcoming match I’m gonna have to record a “sounds of Red Bull Arena.” This stadium, it sounds amazing. And if you’ve never experienced the Red Bulls version of the national anthem...
And the Supporter’s Groups—be it the Viking Army, or the ESC, or the Ultras—are always adding to the stadium’s traditional repertoire.
And today, on Sunday April 26th, 2015, Dan got his answers.
Oh yeah, the game. I never remember to take photos during the game. For those not deep into MLS, the Galaxy won the MLS Cup last year. The Red Bulls are the only team still undefeated this year. Galaxy got out front early, but the Red Bulls looked dominant in possession throughout the game. At the end they came out level on the scoreboard. Here were the goals (RBNY videos > Galaxy videos):