Monday, November 8, 2010

Redbulls 2010 Inaugural Season: From the Eyes of a New Fan

The season has come to an abrupt end for our beloved Redbulls.  We have had some extreme high and lows but still a great season nonetheless.  After the shock and heartbreak of the loss wore off, I  began to reflect on the season as a whole.  I am sure that many of you have been Metro/Redbull fans for years already.   This was my first year supporting the Metro and what a ride it has been.

My first game was May 23, 2010.  This was an exhibition match against Juventus FC.  I was 2 months into a new relationship and looking for something interesting to do.  My girlfriend had mentioned that she was a huge Juventus fan in high school.  I work in Downtown Manhattan and ride the PATH train daily.  I could see Redbull Arena from the window two times a day.  Curiosity had gotten the better of me and I decided to check out the Redbull website.  Too my shock and amazement Juventus was scheduled to play an exhibition match at a very new Redbull Arena.  I bought tickets immediately!  May 23 came sooner than I expected.  I remember the feeling of excitement walking into to the brand new stadium and glancing at the gorgeous pitch in front of me.  The match began and section 101 started their chants.  I can honestly say that is what sold me on the Redbulls.  I have been to countless sporting events over the years.  Nothing has even come close to the ambience and excitement created by the 2 sections of the South Ward.  The Redbulls pulled out an awesome victory and the deal was done.  I was now officially obsessed with the New York Redbulls.

Naturally, I started searching Google for any information I could find regarding the team and its players.  I eventually stumbled across The Viper’s Nest.  This quickly became my go to site for all things Redbull.  I found the brutally honest and critical banter extremely informative.  It provided insight into the mind of a diehard Metro Fan.  I began attending every home game I could get tickets for.  I even had the pleasure of meeting a few of the Viper’s Nest crew and talking shop on one of their videos!
The season progressed and we soon found ourselves signing legendary striker Thierry Henry and Mexican national team captain Rafa Marquez.  The hype generated excitement and the realization that this organization was serious about winning its first MLS cup.  Their presence has definitely elevated the level of play and has even showcased some of the Redbull’s non-DP talent IE Dane Richards.  Watching Thierry Henry step on the field and score against Tottenham will be one of those moments that I’ll never forget.

Hans Backe has done an astonishing job turning our boys from Zeroes to Heroes.  However, the one thing I admire most about Mr. Backe is his realistic attitude about the team he manages.  He knew that they weren’t good enough for the MLS Cup yet.  The team has an amazing amount of talent and now Backe must figure out how to harness and control this new found power.  I believe that the off-season will produce a team that will be a force to be reckoned with.  Even with the loss of Juan Pablo Angel, Mike Petke, Seth Stammler, and Woly.  All good things must come to an end.  We will miss our favorite players, friends, and Redbull Arena.  I cannot wait for the 2011 season and another shot at winning our first MLS Cup.