The History Behind New York Red Bulls and the MetroStars

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The history behind the New York Red Bulls and the MetroStars.

The New York Red Bulls were founded in 1995, as the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, and also in this year came the creation of the first MLS’ supporters group, the Empire Supporters’ Club. The franchise was initially going to be called the Empire Soccer Club,  but it was decided that the franchise’s name would be MetroStars

The first MLS season for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars was in 1996, and the club decided to play their home games at the home of the New York Giants, which was the Giants Stadium. There were high expectations on the MetroStars as many thought that the franchise would become a dominating force in the league, however, the 1996 season was filled with disappointment. The team lost their first game 2-1 to LA, and the first home game to New England with Nicola Caricola scored an own goal with little time remaining, giving New England a 1-0 win. The first win game in matchday four, as a 3-0 penalty shootout win (there was no draws in the MLS at this point) over Tampa Bay Mutiny. The head coach, Eddie Firmani, lasted just 8 games and was replaced by Carlos Quieroz who got rid of half the team and lead the team to the play offs, but lost to the eventual winners, and rivals, DC United in a three-game play off, the MetroStars won the first game on the shootout after their injured captain, Peter Vermes scored to win, they went onto lose the next two games. After the season was finished, Quieroz left the club.

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Tab Ramos’ shirt from the 1996 season

The Metro fans had renewed hope in the 1997 season after Carlos Alberto Parriera was named the clubs’ new head coach. The franchise surprisingly traded the captain, Peter Vermes, for new draft pick, Kerry Zavagin, one of the worst players to ever wear the jersey. Mike Sorber was also brought into try and stabilise the midfield – something he didn’t really achieve. Tab Ramos only played 13 games due to injury. A bad start to the season didn’t help matters for the franchise. Parriera brought in Branco after many signings failed to make an impact, and whilst he scored a few cracking free kicks, but was sent off three times in just eleven appearances. The last sending off came in the penultimate game against Columbus, a must win game for the MetroStars, after he spat on Mike Lapper, they went onto lose 1-0, ending their season. The MetroStars missed out on the playoffs and the head coach left as did Donadoni. One thing was safe to say, next season had to show a major improvement.

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One of the worst players to ever wear the jersey

The 1998 season saw Alfonso Mondelo, originally Parriera’s assistant, was named the head coach. He undersaw a number of arrivals, including Alexi Lalas, Jim Rooney and Diego Sonora. The most important and best addition was the drafting of future club legend, defender, Mike Petke. He entered the squad on matchday four of the season and didn’t leave it for years to come. For the second season in a row, the MetroStars started the season poorly, but the introduction of Petke, Rooney and Dougherty put the team back on the correct track. The club acquired Eduardo Hurtado from LA, who impressed and gelled well with Savarese. When Ramos, Lalas and Vega departed for the World Cup, the MetroStars shot up the league standings, but this didn’t last. When the trio returned, the metro magic disappeared. Vega returned overweight and underperforming and was no replacement for the departed, Donadoni and joined the list of failed foreign Metro disappointments, and Lalas’ performances dropped considerably. The MetroStars lost six games in a row towards the end of the year, which lead to Mondelo’s sacking. He was replaced by ex-US coach Bora Milutinovic, who lost in the play offs to Columbus, losing both play off games.

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Club legend, Mike Petke, joined the club for his first spell in 1998 (Credit: gettyimages)

The 1999 season is possibly the worst season on record for the club. Even before we kicked a ball, it didn’t well, the then all-time leading goalscorer, Savarese, was traded to New England, Rhett Harty didn’t resign after a bitter contract dispute and he eventually retired. Meola and Lalas were traded to Kansas City for Ammann and Chung, and whilst they played well in their Metro career, it was still a bad season.  The club top goalscorer for the season was Eduardo Hurtado with just seven goals from 79 shots! The team hit a low point with a 6-0 loss to Kansas City. General Manager Charlie Stillitano tried to bring in Lothar Matthuas, but Bayern Munich decided not to release him in the end, the MetroStars were scrambling for the loose pieces, bringing in players who did make a difference but it was too little too late. The club went on a twelve game losing streak and the team ended the season with just 7 wins, only four of them in normal time. Fans started to stay away from Giants Stadium. Stillitano was fired after the season and replaced by Nick Sakiewicz. It was safe to say the MetroStars’ future looked pretty bleak.

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Hurtado scored just 7 goals in the worst team of history of the club

 

The 2000 season saw the introduction of Clint Mathis, who was introduced after the MetroStars dug themselves into another hole that they needed recusing from, but it was no worry for Clint because he did just that! A surprise to many, Lothar Matthus did actually join the club before the season started but didn’t perform as expected until late in the year. Adolfo Valencia and Alex Comas, the other foreign arrivals, proved to be much better arrivals but both struggled to start with. The first pick of the draft was wasted on Steve Shak. The team needed something, and Steve Jolley and Daniel Hernandez were brought in, and the two along with Mike Petke, provided a solid three-man defence, well, that was until Hernandez was ruled out for the rest of the season. But not to worry, the arrival of Clint Mathis is what truly turned around the clubs’ fortunes. Mathis scored goal after goal after goal, and flashing his “I LOVE NY” shirt, as seen here, after every goal is what made him the saviour we had all been looking for. The Metros’ just keep winning and were challenging for the best record in the league. Things went sour when Tampa forward Mamadou Diallo stepped on goalkeeper, Mike Ammann, breaking his ribs in the proccess. Mike Petke’s “Crime of the Century and Revenge is Coming” T-Shirt, as seen here, in the game four days later, gained the fans’ admiration and further adds to the reason why Petke is a club legend. The MetroStars called up Paul Grafer from the A-League for the first round of the play offs which they won. The still-injured Ammann came back for Game 2 of the semi finals versus Chicago, but the season ended in Game 3 after the Metros lost 3-2.

A big thing happened in the 2001 season as it was the first season that the club retained their manager from the previous season. Under the management of Octavio Zambrano, the MetroStars were picked by many people to win the league. Before the campaign started goalkeeper, Mike Ammann, was traded to D.C. United for Richie Williams and one of their allocation slots, in a move that would let Tim Howard take over the goalkeeping duties at the club. The Metros finally started the season well for the first time as they won six of their first eight games. Clint Mathis didn’t stop scoring as he started the season with seven goals in six games, including a hat-trick against Kansas City. However, when Mathis tore his UCL during international duty, the team didn’t have a replacement for him. Rookie, Rodrigo Faria, took over his position and whilst he did win Rookie of the Year, he was no Mathis replacement. Alvarez did not impress, but one player exceeded all expectations, and that was Tim Howard who won the MLS’ Goalkeeper of the Year. The Metros again failed to win a major trophy this season, as they lost in the First Round of the Play-Offs to LA. After six seasons without any major silverware, MetroMedia decided enough was enough and sold the MetroStars to AEG.

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Tim Howard won MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

In AEG’s first season as owners of the club, the 2002 season started with lots of changes to revamp the team, with the General Manager and Head Coach clearly not satisfied with the 2001 season, including ex-Miami forward Diego Serna, and Marcelo Balboa. The latter was brought in to shore up the defence. Clint Mathis lost time due to World Cup duty, and this meant that the club didn’t start as well as expected by many, this meant business! Petter Villegas and Orlando Perez were both traded to DC United for Mark Lisi and Craig Ziadie. Serna, Kamler and Hernandez were also traded to New England in exchange for Ted Chornopoulos, Andy Williams and Mamadou Diallo. It worked – to start with – and Diallo scored four goals against LA in a 5-0 win. When Mathis returned from the World Cup, the team looked to be on the up, but when the gaffer decided to leave him out of the team for the next game cost them the game. His injury after that didn’t help in others either. The player who was brought into shore the defence ended up playing just 5 minutes, the last five of the season, and Williams and Diallo couldn’t keep up their early number of goals either. Tim Howard continued to impress us all game after game but alone it wasn’t enough. The Metros would miss out on the Play-Offs after losing their last three games when they just needed a point to make the play offs. A lot of things have post-season for the club – Tab Ramos retired after another injury-plagued season, Diallo was sold to Al-Ahli, and the manager was fired, and was replaced by Bob Bradley.  Faria also left the club.

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Mamadou Diallo with his NY BELIEVE IN ME shirt. (Credit: gettyimages)

The 2003 season started with a mass clearout at the club with new manager Bob Bradley clearly not happy with the squad. It started with Mike Petke, all time games leader at Metro, being traded with DC United for Eddie Pope, Jaime Moreno and the return of Richie Williams. Mamadou Diallo and Andy Williams were told to leave the club. In came Richardo Clark, Mike Magee, Eddie Gaven and Hounduran captain Amado Guevara. The biggest story of transfers this year was the sale of goalkeeper, Tim Howard, to Manchester United. A replacement was needed and found one they did! Jonny Walker joined the MetroStars who looked just the replacement for Tim. The team got off to a wonderful start, winning most games in the last minute. The club did well in the Open Cup again, with a number of comebacks including a two goal comeback to beat Columbus 4-3, and a injury-time winner by Guevara to top New England by 2 goals to 1, and of course another Wolyenic heroic performance to beat DC United 3-2 – there was no denying that the Metros had got lucky, but no one cared. The luck ran out, as they were beaten by 1-0 by Chicago in the Final. A late bad run of form and a goal drought for Clint Mathis sent the MetroStars going into the Play Offs on a downer, but lost to New England in the first round. There was a huge difference this time – there was hope. Bob Bradley had created a platform to build on next year.

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Tim Howard joined the Premier League champions, Manchester United from the MetroStars in Summer 2003.

The 2004 season was a season of hope and Bob Bradley made a number of changes. Steve Jolley left for Bonseu and Clint Mathis left to sign for Hannover 96, that meant a new striker was needed. We signed three – Fabian Taylor, Sergio Galvan Rey and Cornell Glen. Before the season started, the club became the first club to win outside North America winning the La Manga Camp with a 1-0 victory or Norway’s Viking thanks to a goal from rookie, Jeff Parke. We peaked the best in the midseason as Guevara showed us just how good he was, with ten goals and ten assists. He was the backbone of this team, if he was having a good game, everyone was. The rise of Eddie Gaven also put a smile on the fans’ face, he showed he knew where the net was and toughness on the ball reminded us of an early Mathis. But believe it or not, the leagues team with most goals couldn’t score when they really needed to, Galvan Rey didn’t do anything to change this either. The Metros lost again in the first round of the play offs to DC United, losing both legs 2-0. Back to square one again for the MetroStars.

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The MetroStars win the La Manga Cup. (Credit: MetroFanatic)

After another disappointing finish, in 2005,  the manager decided we needed a veteran leader, which saw Eddie Pope, who never showed any leadership qualities, be traded for Jeff Agoos. The off season also saw former World Cup and Euros winner Youri Djorkaeff join the club which saw Richardo Clark leave. The season was filled with inconsistency. One game the Metros would be amazing, the next dull, and allowed a lot of late goals to lose points in so many matches. Many players didn’t live up to their billing, but Djorkaeff didn’t, showing his professionalism and leadership skills everytime he stepped on the pitch. Towards the middle of the year, off-field issues was the main problem as the General Manager, Nick Sakiewicz was fired in June, to be replaced by ex-Metro Alexi Lalas, who put new pressure on the team and got two key acquisitions midseason, two former Metro players, Ante Razov and Tony Meola. During the season, the along awaiting announcement of the building of a soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey was finally announced. Bob Bradley was sacked by Lalas with just three games left of the season, Mo Johnson was named interim head coach and got 7 points out of three games, which allowed the Metros to sneak into the play offs. In the Play Offs, the MetroStars played New England and won 1-0 in the home tie thanks to a lone goal socred by Guevara, and Guevara also put the Metros 1-0 up in the away tie, before New England score three late on to end another MetroStar season in true disappointment.

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The announcement of a stadium in Harrison, New Jersey (Photo: gettyimages)

2006 saw the team start the season as the MetroStars with Alexi Lalas and Mo Johnston but end it as the New York Red Bulls with Bruce Arena and Richie Williams. After the departure of his father as manager, his son, Michael Bradley, was sold abroad to Heerenveen, and Ante Razov was traded to Chivas USA. Peter Canero and Chris Henderson were brought in to improve the wing play at the club. The day was the 9th March 2006. The MetroStars were no more, as AEG sold the club to the energy drink makers, Red Bull, who rebranded the team New York Red Bulls. Some accepted it, some moved on, some even abandoned the team because of the rebranding. The season started with tie after tie, blowing many leads in the games. Just a month after Red Bull brought the club, Lalas quit to go to LA and was replaced by Marc de Grandpre. June came and Johnston was fired replaced by Richie Williams on an interim basis, before being replaced by Bruce Arena. Jean-Philippe Peguero came, scored goals, and was sold, meanwhile, Canero didn’t make an impact and Buddle, minus an 18th minute hat-trick vs Salt Lake, was added to another line of failed Metro strikers. Jeff Parke and Carlos Mendes did a good job at the back and so did goalkeeper Jon Conway. Both youngesters, Marvell Wynne and Jozy Altidoe showed us great potential. They needed to beat Kansas City to make the play offs and they did, as Guevara scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win. The Play Offs came and DC were the opposition. After a 1-0 loss in the home leg, in the away leg , Altidore tied the series up, but DC scored a late goal to go through 2-1.

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GM, Alexis Lalas, presenting the Red Bull jersey after the takeover by Red Bull

The 2007 season saw Bruce Arena’s first off-season with the club and he wanted to rebuild the team. Youri Djorkaeff retired, Tony Meola was released and Amado Guevara was traded to Chivas USA for a DP spot. This allowed the Red Bulls to get long-time Arena favourite Claudio Reyna. The off-season also saw ex-Metro Clint Mathis come back to the club after two seasons of disappointment for him. The Red Bulls started the season on fire, with Mathis, Ronald Waterreus and Dave van den Bergh leading the way, starting the season 3-0-1 was perfect. No goals were shipped in the first four games either. It was time to fill the second DP spot, and rumour after rumour started of many top European players coming to New York, Bruce Arena finally decided that Juan Pablo Angel would be the man. Arena made the right choice. He scored 19 goals that season, breaking Adolfo Valencia’s record. Clint Mathis also became the club’s all time goalscorer, with his 45th for the club, breaking Savarese’s record. Sadly though, breaking records does not win games on their own. The wonderful start was met with a mid-season bad patch. Waterreus got injured and didn’t find his form again and was replaced by Jon Conway in goal. 17 year old, Jozy Altidore, impressed scoring nine goals. The Red Bulls finished 3rd in the conference, qualifying for the Play Offs, where they played a hard fought match against New England. The first leg ended goal-less and so did the second leg – until Angel got concussion and a goal from New England when the team were reduced to ten due to Angel’s injury. Another season ending in heartbreak but yet predictable heartbreak. Bruce Arena was dismissed from his role just a few days later. Chicago coach and former assistant Juan Carlos Osorio took over.

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Clint Mathis on the ball for New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium (Photo: gettyimages)

The 2008 season was something to say the least. Juan Carlos Osorio was the head coach selected by De Grandpre, who left through the season, being replaced by Erik Stover. Strangely, Osorio seemed to spend the off season chasing players who rights belonged to other MLS clubs. The only foreign signing was Oscar Echeverry, who played 9 games with no goals before an injury and he didn’t play again. We were all waiting for some signings in the summer when two major departures happened when Jozy Altidore was sold to Villarreal for a record fee in the MLS, and Claudio Reyna retired mid-season. Signings finally came. Jorge Rojas, Juan Pietravallo and Gabriel Cichero all signed. Then a late season bad run of games came. The defence weren’t  holding up and the play off spot looked in serious trouble. If the Red Bulls didn’t have the wonderful play from Dave van den Bergh and the 14 goals from Juan Pablo Angel, it would lost, no doubt. Just two games left in the regular, but the club were without the services of Jon Conway and Jeff Parke who were suspended for unknowingly taking banned substances. Youngester Danny Cepero was the goalkeeper and was the first MLS goalkeeper to score in a 3-1 win over the Crew. Any hope of a play off spot looked over when Osorio’s tinkered the team again in the must win fixture, which they lost, but DC United failure later in the week, the Red Bulls got a Play Off spot despite finishing 5th in the conference – how? The Red Bulls gained the 4th play off spot  from the Western Conference as only three teams in that conference qualified. What happened next is bonkers. First of all, the Red Bulls beat two time defending champions Houston 3-0 then earned the title of Western Conference champions (despite playing in the Eastern Conference…) by winning to Real Salt Lake 1-0 by a van den Bergh goal – one thing was safe to say, the Red Bull faithful couldn’t believe it but they didn’t care – they now had the chance to win the MLS Cup. But sadly, it wasn’t to be as they were defeated by Supporter Shield winners’ Columbus. The Red Bulls had equalised through a goal by John Wolyneic early on in the second half, but less than a few minutes later, the team conceded a goal off a Crew corner. The Red Bulls ended the year, and hope and belief for a first major trophy, with a 3-1 defeat in the final.

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The 1999 season was bad. The 2009 season came close. Despite reaching the clubs’ first MLS Cup Final last season, this season was awful. Osorio’s tinkering didn’t stop – in fact, many players actually left who were a vital part of the campaign, such as van den Bergh, Jeff Parke and he didn’t even replace them well! Oduro came, didn’t play well and exited for the time, so did Khano Smith, Alferdo Pacheco. Carlos Johnson joined and broke MLS red cards records. However, this season did see the return of a New York legend, Mike Petke.  The team just lost, lost and lost. Week after week after week. The keepers picked the ball out of the net so many times this season. Don’t misunderstand, some of the defeats were close, but some were not. Of course, this didn’t stop Osorio tinkering and he tried to change the line up, and change the tactics. It didn’t help. The 1999 season was worse, but with all the promise and hope that ended 2008, this seemed worse at the time. The losses were not stopping, and the team ended the season with 19 losses. A new excuse each week from the head coach, the officials, the players and everything but him. The club crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage by losing to W Connection. The end for Osorio was near. However, it looked like he was going to finish the season, but when the club lost their 16th straight game without a win, he quit quickly. Richie Williams took over on an interim basis, and got two wins out of two. The terrible season was over. 2009 was a nightmare, 2010 could only get better.

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Club legend, Mike Petke returned to the club and retired with them. (Photo: gettyimages)

The 2010 season saw change from top to bottom. Erik Soler was named the new General Manager and Swede Hans Backe was the new head coach. The club brought in Joel Lindpere who turned out to be a decent player. However, the best move what was it picked Tim Ream, an outstanding defender, who now plays for Fulham in England’s second division. This season marked the debut of the wonderful new stadium in Harrison, New Jersey. Red Bull Arena was opened officially against Santos in a friendly. The first MLS match was the regular season opener against Chicago. Bouna Coundoul was fab in goal as he broke team record for the number of shutouts during the season. Juan Pablo Angel continued his excellent scoring record early in the season, including a magical injury time free kick to beat Houston 2-1. But the goals soon dried up, but it was picked up by Dane Richards. This season also saw the introduction of Thierry Henry, the new DP which created the DP trio of Henry, Angel and Marquez. The returns this seasons mixed. Henry took a bit of time to break through and did end the year with injury. Overall, the team beat all the expectations upon them, as they won the East for the first time since 2000. In the Play Off Semi Finals, Lindpere scored the one goal in the away leg to San Jose, but it all came crashing down in the home leg, as the Red Bulls allowed an early goal, a late goal, Angel briefly tying it before a 3-2 aggregate loss. This season also marked the end of many long time stalwart such as Mike Petke, Seth Stammler and John Wolyniec, who announced their retirements during the season. Petke would stay on with the club, first all as Manager of Business Operations before joining the coaching team and eventually as head coach.

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Thierry Henry joined the club as a DP.

The 2011 season saw expectations rise due to Henry and Marquez being on the roster. All time scorer Angel was let ago to many people’s shock. The season began well, 3 wins out of three. New signings such as Teemu Taino, Jan Gunnar Solli, Luke Rodgers and when Dwayne De Rosario was acquired from Toronto, the Red Bulls looked to be world-beaters and favourites to win. Championships are not won on paper, and the club went through an awful midseason spell, as winnable games turned to a MLS record, 16 ties. The keepers gave up bad goals, which lead to signing of German veteran Frank Rost. Also in a huge shock, De Rosario was sent to DC in return for a certain Ginger Ninja, Dax McCarty. July came, and Backe gave up on the Open Cup as he didn’t even travel to Chicago as he sent assistant Mike Petke with a weak squad where the team was smashed.The club won the Emirates Cup in London, beating PSG 1-0 and tying Arsenal 1-1 to leave the UK with silverware. Henry scored 15 goals this season, but Marquez was a big disappointment, bashing his teammates to the media and losing his place to Stephen Keel. The Metros made the Play Offs, and started at Dallas and won in an upset. The club went to the quarter finals against LA, where they lost the home leg, but equalised early on the road, but somehow lost, wondering where it all went wrong.

The 2012 season started with Backe trying to add depth to the squad. In came Kenny Cooper, Markus Holgersson, and Wilman Conde to try and shore up the backline. There was no return though for Luke Rodgers due to legal troubles. Cooper and Henry formed a wonderful partnership. Scoring goals, setting up goals. They were unstoppable. Kenny Cooper scored 18 league goals whilst Thierry Henry scored 15 goals and got 12 assists. Henry honoured the team’s past by wearing a red and black armband late in the season. The defence was not that solid. Backe was searching for the back four most of the season. In front of defence, Dax McCarty excelled but was put back into less-suited wing after Tainio’s return from injury. Dane Richards left the club after a long spell as he was traded for Le Toux. A new DP arrived as Tim Cahill joined the club. New ‘keeper and rookie Ryan Meara did wonders in goal, but injury ended his season, with Gaudette stepping in, but Luis Robles was between the posts by time the Play Offs arrived. DC were the team in the Play Offs. The venues were switched due to Hurricane Sandy. In the first leg, both teams scored an own goal to make 1-1 the scoreline. Then the penalty in the second leg. Kenny Cooper took it and scored, but had to be retaken due to a player inside the box and was saved. Marquez got a red card, and DC won it late. Backe was relieved of his duties a day later to be replaced by Mike Petke firstly on an interim basis.

New York Red Bulls' goalkeeper Meara makes save against Montreal Impact during the second half of their MLS soccer match in Montreal

Rookie, Ryan Meara, impressed but injuries ended his season.

2013. The best season of the history of the franchise at the time. New leadership was needed and a new Sporting Director was hired, Andy Roxburgh and the new head coach was Metro legend Mike Petke. Many players departed under the new head coach as Tainio, Solli and Lindpere all left. The DP, Rafa Marquez, who flopped, finally left. The club traded Kenny Cooper due to his high salary. The team got in MLS veterans, such as Jamison Olave, Fabian Espindola, Jonny Steele and Eric Alexander and Brazillian Juninho. The club started slowing but quickly picked up steam. Olave was a rock at the back and Steele and Alexander provided great wing service. Juninho played 13 games before leaving in July. The DP, Cahill, made it up, scoring goals galore, and did everything to take the Red Bulls to the next level. Henry was back to his best, including a wonderful bicycle kick goal against the Impact. Luis Robles provided quality ‘keeping to keep goals out. Dax McCarty continued to control the midfield, whilst at the same time becoming a fan favourite, and scored a late winner in a 4-3 comeback win over the Real Salt lake. Two games left, win both, and the Supporters Shield was theirs. They won the first. The second… inside a packed Red Bull Arena of around 25,000, the team won 5-2 against Chicago to win the club’s first real silverware, as Mike Petke said “I wanted one thing only, to give you a team you could be proud of.” And he achieved that. New York lost in the Semi Finals of the Play Offs to Houston 4-3 a.e.t on agg. They ended the best season in the club’s history in a similar way.

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The 2014 season was different in the off season. Not many were leaving, not many were coming. One major departure was Markus Holgersson, who was never replaced adequately which lead to many goals being shipped. After a slow start to the start, goals started from BWP. The Englishman ended up with 3 hat-tricks, and 27 goals, breaking the team record, and tying a league record. Many of the 27 goals were set up by Henry. Henry still scored with 10 goals and 14 assists. Lloyd Sam was great on the right wing, confusing defenders all season. The defence sorted it self out in the end, as Petke paired Dax McCarty and Eric Alexander to centre of the midfielder. The club went into the play offs with flying colours, but Bradley Wright Phillips had to save them in the Knockout game with a last minute winner against Sporting Kansas to win 2-1. DC in the Semi Finals were next. The Red Bulls won the home leg 2-0 with goals from Wright-Phillips and Peguy Luyindula, and drew on the road to go to the Conference Final. Sadly, again, disappointment. Terrible refereeing led to a 2-1 defeat on the home leg against New England, and whilst they drew 2 all on the road, they still went out, 4-3 agg.

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Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a club record 27 goals in the 2014 season

The 2015 off season was a shock to say the least. No, it wasn’t the retirement of Thierry Henry or the departure of Tim Cahill. They were expected. The rest wasn’t. New Sporting Director, Ali Curtis, ruthlessly fired the only manager to win silverware at the club, Mike Petke, and replace him with Jesse Marsch. The decision was met by huge fan resentment, as seen at the Town Hall meeting that year. Many fans were on Petke’s side and didn’t like Ali Curtis at all. The major additions this season was Felipe and Sacha Kljestan. Despite all the negativity surrounding the ownership of the club, the team got off to the best start in franchise history, starting 7 games unbeaten. Youngster Matt Miazga, now a Chelsea player, stepped alongside Damien Perrinelle in central defence and the two quickly become one of the best in the league. A late spring slide saw doubts again, but Marsch didn’t listen. The five man midfield of now captain, Dax McCarty, Kljestan, Felipe, Mike Grella and Lloyd Sam started to do wonderful things. The captain did wonders in the new high-pressure system installed into the team,  which helped Dax grow into possibly the best defensive midfielder in the league. Kljestan’s control and wonderful passing also helped too. Bradley Wright Phillips was just fine without Henry, Luis Robles was still a rock in goal, even after three years, Red Bull Arena and the South Ward was still rocking. The Red Bulls knew a win on the last game on the season would secure the Supporters Shield for a 2nd time. They 2-1 in Chicago to win the Shield. The Play Offs started with two 1-0 victories over DC in the Semi Finals, but when it came to the Conference Final, they fell on the 2-0 on the road, and could only a score a late goal by Abang in the home leg, losing 2-1 agg. Another great season ending on the same note again..

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This article will be updated with the 2016 season soon.

 

There’s still history to be written in New Jersey. Forza Metro!

All information from www.metrofanatic.com and www.newyorkredbulls.com

 

Are you a New York fan? Join the NYRB Discussion Group! – click here.

Are you a New York fan in the UK? Join the ISE!  – click here

View our New York Red Bulls match reports from the 2016 season – click here

Check out when New York won the Supporter Shield in 2013 – click here.

Check out when New York won the Shield for the second time in 2015 – click here

 

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