24 April 2009

know your foe - new york redbulls

DC United makes a short drive up I-95 to dirty jersey to play the Epire Soccer Club/ New York/New Jersey MetroStars/RedBull Sunday at 3pm. United is coming off a 2-0 win against FC Dallas in US Open Cup qualifying, and a 1-1 draw against New England in their last league match. New York enters the game coming off a 1-0 defeat in Kansas City Thursday evening in which Carlos Johnson was sent off in the game's second minute allowing Claudio Lopez to score the game's only goal on the ensuing penalty kick. The red card was Johnson's second of the young season having been ejected in concurrent games (first in the 78th minute vs. Houston two weeks ago).


It would be safe to say the current New York RedBulls have suffered from a bit of an identity crisis over the years. One of the founding members of Major League Soccer. MLS Originally announced the team name as the Empire Soccer Club, however the team began play in 1996 named the New York New Jersey MetroStars, then beginning in the 1997 season known only as the MetroStars. In 2006 the team was sold to the greatest company on earth Austrian energy drink manufacturer RedBull and the team was renamed RedBull New York or the New York RedBulls.


The "New York" RedBulls play their home games at Giant's Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Like all teams that call Giant's Stadium home they don't claim the putrid cesspool state in their name instead choosing to call themselves New York despite being more than 7 miles outside of the five Burroughs. Despite a population of less than 10,000, East Rutherford is home to four professional sports teams: New York Giants, New York Jets, New Jersey Nets, and the RedBulls. East Rutherford is also home of the "New Jersey Hall of Fame"....with such prestigious inductees as Bon Jovi, Bud Abbott, and Jerry Lewis. Giant's Stadium is set to be tore down in 2010 before which the RedBulls will move even further outside of the city to RedBull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Long time RedBull supporter Jimmy Hoffa is the only known fan of the team to never miss a home game, sadly once the team moves into their new stadium Hoffa has publicly stated he will never attend another match.

Affectionately known as the New York Pink Cows the team has no official nickname, known only as the RedBulls. In one of the opening games of the 2006 season DC United forward Alecko Eskandarian celebrated his first half goal after a team mate tossed him a can of RedBull which he promptly chugged and spit on the artificial turf of Giants Stadium. Esky was subsequently fined a whooping $250 by Major League Soccer.

RedBull has certainly taken full advantage of their ownership of the club, placing their logo on the front of the jersey twice, once as the presenting sponsor, and then directly above it in the team crest. Just in case you forgot who owned and sponsored the team, RedBull is also listed on the back of the jerseys directly below each player's number. RedBull also owns FC Red Bull Salzburg who play in he Austrian Bundesliga, Austria's first division.

Head to Head Record
DC and New York play annually for the "Atlantic Cup" which is awarded to the team winning the regular season series between the two clubs. United leads the all time series racking up an impressive regular season record of 33-17-7 since the inaugural season. As well as a 5-1-1 record in the playoffs. United has won the last five Atlantic Cups winning the season series nine times in the first thirteen seasons of MLS. Most recently in 2008 the teams each won, lost, and tied a match with United retaining the cup based on winning it in 2007.

Trophy Case
"Man, we been out here thirteen years - and we ain't won shit" Despite having some of the best talent in the league the RedBulls are yet to win a championship in any competitions. Last year they backed into the playoffs and represented the Western Conference in MLS Cup only to lose to the Columbus Crew 3-1. All that losing has turned their supporters a little bit bitter. Fans have even gone so far as to assemble a March Madness style bracket of hate with such entrants as Ben Olsen, Jaime Moreno, Jeff Agoos, Dema Kovalenko, Raul diaz Arce, among others.

Juan Carlos Osorio was named head coach following the 2007 season making him the club's 11th coach in thirteen seasons. He inherited the job from current LA Galaxy coach and former DC & Men's national team coach Bruce Arena. Prior to coaching the RedBulls Osorio was an assistant coach with Manchester City, Columbian club Millonarios, and head coach with the Chicago Fire. Despite posting a 10-11-9 record and -6 goal differential the Osorio led the RedBulls to MLS Cup in his first season.

Supporters Groups

The team has quite a few vocal supporters groups, most notably the Empire Supporters Club. During home games they can be found in section 101 directly above the home team player's entrance. Among their greatest hits are clever anti-dc chants such as "your mayor smoked crack", "fuck united", "dc united went to see the pope", however their crowning gem has to be - Cans of red bull in our trousers
We’ve got cans of red bull in our trousers:
We’ve got cans of red bull in our trousers,
We’ve got cans of red bull,
We’ve got cans of red bull,
We’ve got cans of red bull in our trousers!
It's accompanied by this brilliant explanation on their website - "It used to be armadillos in our trousers, back in the day. Given the name change this just made sense. Why? Because we are fucking huge that’s why." Other supporters groups include Raging Bull Nation, Garden State Supporters, and the Kearny Army

The RedBull/MetroStars have never been short on talent. Their opening season such stars Tony Meola, former AC Milan star Roberto Donadoni, and Tab Ramos. Over the years Clint Mathis, Tim Howard, Jeff Agoos, Eddie Gaven, Michael Bradley, Eddie Pope, Timmy Howard, even Jaime Moreno (2003), and Captain America Cladio Reyna have suited up for the MetroStars/RedBull. Most recently national team regular Jozy Altidore; before a $10 million transfer saw him depart the dirty jerzee for Villareal. The current roster includes designated player Juan Pablo Angel, Khano Smith, Dane Richards, as well as former DC United defender Mike Petke.

The Game
United has played inconsistently this season, however, I think they have too much talent to drop this game to the RedBulls. The last time Benny suited up in Giants Stadium he dropped three goals for his first professional hat trick. Look for goals from Benny, Fred, and Tino.

Prediction DCU 3 : NYRB 1

Also, if someone could explain to me just what the shit is going on in this video...that'd be great. Tip to NYRB - perhaps the person leading your songs, shouldn't have a sp-sp-speeech impediment.


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