Red Bull NY, a Season to Forget • Latino Sports

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Red Bull NY, a Season to Forget

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East Rutherford, NJ: The MLS (Major League Soccer) celebrated its inaugural season in the spring of 1996. Formation of the professional league had been a prerequisite of FIFA, the world soccer governing body, before awarding the 1994 World Cup to the United States.

For the newly formed league to succeed, New York was needed to field a solid winning team. Its head, Metromedia Inc. named it MetroStars. That expectation, however very rarely materialized.

A conference title in 2000 and a US Open Cup Final showing in 2003 were the only two important achievements of the Metros.

On March of 2006 the team was purchased and renamed as Red Bull New York.

On the field very little changed besides the color of their uniforms until 2008 when they unexpectedly got as far as the final game where they lost to Columbus 3-1 after eliminating defending champ Houston and Salt Lake City, both on the road on their way there.

The coach, Juan Carlos Osorio (the eleventh in franchise history) had come from England after concluding a reputable job with Manchester City and was touted as a savior. Even with the loss, Red Bull qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League representing the US along with the champion.

After reaching the MLS finals last year, expectations were high for the current season, but after only a few games it became clear that no miracle was going to take place again. The ’08 magic simply was not there. In addition, the soul of the team, Dave van den Bergh was traded in one of the worst coaching decisions by Osorio and that sealed their fate.

In one of the few bright spots, Juan Pablo Angel scored his 42nd goal and became the top scorer in their young history.

After a respectable 2-2 tie with the W Connection in Trinidad, the NY/NJ entry was quickly disappointed with a 2-1 loss and elimination from the North American and Caribbean club tournament at home at Giants Stadium.

It had been hoped that a good showing in the continental tourney would save the coach’s job, but on August 21, Osorio was forced to resign with eight games to go in the season and a dismal record of 12-27-13 over a season and a half.

Nevertheless despite this year’s poor showing hopes for a better campaign next year are rekindled.

Interim coach Richie Williams has brought the team some level of respectability. Under his guidance the team has won twice, lost once and tied on Friday September 18 against the New England Revolution, one of the league’s chief franchises.

On that night, after a slow start in which the team had virtually no scoring chances, Sainey Nyassi put New England ahead with a sizzling strike on the 13th minute. The side had to regroup, but it found no answers for the remainder of the first half. At halftime, adjustments were made and intermission pep talk seemed to have the desired effect however.

 

Red Bull began the second half with a vengeance creating opportunity after opportunity.

The tying goal appeared to be on the horizon. That impression became a reality when John Wolyniec netted the equalizer after an effective crossing pass by Dane Richards 24 minutes into the period for the final score.

The second reason for optimism is the construction of their own soccer only stadium in Harrison, NJ which will be completed before the start of next season. The team is showing improvement winding down the current campaign. A couple of key player acquisitions and an impressive brand new playing facility will hopefully help do the trick. For a while…Results and a winning attitude are the only things that guarantee “fannies” on the seats in the long haul, something that has bitterly been lacking this year …

CoolWith this article we introduce, Mr Carlos A. Leiva, Director of the radio talk show, La Polemica which airs on Tuesday at 7 PM on WPAT 930 AM.Carlos is an avid soccer fan and we hope to continue to tap him for his contribution to our expanding coverage of the worlds #1 sport. We welcome Carlos to Latinosports.com.

About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Latinosports.com. Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make Latinosports.com a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.