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Thread: 2011 New York Red Bulls

  1. #61

    1,500 of New York's Craziest Fans


    Forty minutes before a Red Bulls game, some of the craziest sports fans in the New York area meet at the corner of Market and Jackson streets in Newark. There are hundreds of them, most of whom have been singing for three or four hours in the bars near the stadium. They don't look the same. They aren't from the same places, but they live by the same edict: Do. Not. Stop. Singing.

    These are the inhabitants of the "South Ward" of Red Bull Arena, a three-section area made up of three groups—the Empire Supporters Club, the Garden State Supporters and the Viking Army. Together, they fill 1,500 seats and create quite the commotion, setting off flares and smoke bombs while wearing their ski masks and viking horns.

    On game day, there may be no more devoted -- or noisy -- sports fans than the 1,500 diehards who cheer the New York Red Bulls.

    From their meeting place in Newark, they cross a bridge, begin the first of their intricately choreographed songs—in this case called "We Will Not Be Moved" as they block traffic—and the chaos continues until the final whistle of that night's game.

    There may be bigger fan bases in New York—but few are more organized and none are more psychotic.

    "They have all what we have in Europe," said Thierry Henry, the French star who played for Arsenal, Barcelona and the French national team among others in his European career. "Since I've arrived it's been great…they are getting very close to the European style."

    Insane supporters' groups aren't rare in Major League soccer—Henry mentioned Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Houston, among others. But this type of mania is unique to New York sports, where relatively tame acts like Fireman Ed of the Jets typically take the "best fans" title.

    "You've got 50,000 people at a Red Sox-Yankees game, but you don't have one big section that's setting off smoke and singing and banging on drums for three hours," said Corey Vezina, one of the leaders of the Empire Supporters Club. "You've got the Bleacher Creatures clapping here and there, but it's pretty quiet…until there's two strikes."

    The South Ward is a fan's holy land. Tickets can't be purchased online—they are either handled through the clubs or can be bought on the phone, with an explanation from the team of what goes on in the section. Ticket-takers are strict about keeping non-South Ward residents out of the sections—which tend to shake during the most intense moments.

    The most basic requirement to belong is singing. That's easier said than done since it becomes more about endurance than passion. The three groups each have at least one leader on a ladder with a megaphone—with his back to the play, leading the chants.

    Those chants range from Red Bulls-themed bends on rap songs or oldies hits to Spanish songs—and are picked up quickly by every fan, regardless of language.

    Vezina estimates that 30% to 40% of the group's chants are in Spanish. He said the Beatles and '80s pop music are the usual favorites that are turned into Red Bull-centric classics.

    There are some songs that stay the same. Then there are times when a player loses a shoe, "and we sing, 'He only needs one shoe,' " Vezina said. "We try to get into people's heads."

    The ultimate goal is for the entire stadium to be loud. With that in mind, a song called "The Whole Stadium Sings With Us" leads to a conventional "Let's Go Red Bulls!" chant that can incorporate the entire fan base.

    Attendance in the rest of the stadium has been sparse this season, which makes the antics of the South Ward, which has been sold out for three of the first five home games, even more noticeable.

    "Even if the whole stadium is not full, it could be a little over 10,000 and it still feels crowded because of the noise," said Jan Gunnar Solli, who played in Norway before moving to the Red Bulls this season.

    Fans say they have seen an explosion in interest in the group since Red Bull Arena opened last season. Red Bulls managing director Erik Stover remembers a game two years ago in Giants Stadium when only about 20 of the most extreme fans were in attendance. They have hit 1,000 for every game this season.

    According to Vezina, the Empire Supporters Club predates the actual team. In 1995, the group formed in anticipation of New York's Major League Soccer franchise—which was thought to be called the Empires. The Viking Army and Garden State Supporters grew out of the original groups.

    These Red Bulls fanatics aren't full-time fans, even if it seems that way. Benny Lopez, the leader of the Viking Army, is a 36-year-old property manager from Wayne, N.J. Vezina is a 35-year-old account executive for an Internet company. But each member of the group puts hours into the production.

    Vezina misses the pregame pub singing in favor of setting up banners and drums at the stadium. Lopez says he probably puts 70 hours a week into all things Red Bulls—not to mention road trips. Trips to D.C. have included as many as 15 busloads of fans.

    Such dedication is setting the standard for fan behavior in the league, said Mike Petke, a former Red Bulls defender who retired last year and is now on the coaching staff. Petke is responsible for communication between the South Ward and the team.

    The Red Bulls' Stover said the key to the team's role in the groups is to "let it all develop organically and support them.''

    One supporter who has a fan in the organization is Nuno Rodrigues, who's the head of the Garden State Supporters. He "spends every game with his back towards the play, with a megaphone, urging these guys on," says Petke. "He loves this team so much that he doesn't watch any of the game. That's dedication."

  2. #62
    Red Buls looking to win right now, despite missing a bunch of players due to Spain/Gold Cup. Big win for a team that hasn't won since April

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Batmans A Scientist View Post
    Red Buls looking to win right now, despite missing a bunch of players due to Spain/Gold Cup. Big win for a team that hasn't won since April
    ....Brutal... Just Brutal Stoppage time goal for 1-1 draw

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Batmans A Scientist View Post
    ....Brutal... Just Brutal Stoppage time goal for 1-1 draw
    That was terrible. I checked in on that match at about the 80th minute while I was at a graduation party and just got put into a one hour pissy mood.

    New England match on Friday was a wacky one. Could have easily been a 4-3 or 5-4 final. However, considering the circumstances with the limited roster, it was still nice to get back in the win column.

    They now enter a brutal stretch on the road. 4 straight on the road, 3 of them being out West: @ Portland, @ Seattle, @ Chicago, @ San Jose. Even worse, they are playing all 4 in only 14 days.

  5. #65
    Red Bulls start this road trip in about a half hour. Looking forward to seeing their first appearance in Portland.

  6. #66
    I don't know why this team can't go a full 90 without having a complete **** up.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by DevsJetsYanks88 View Post
    I don't know why this team can't go a full 90 without having a complete **** up.
    Right now, it's a little more understandable. I didn't see the game, but they are missing Ream, Agudelo, Richards, and others. Takes a lot out of you. I didn't see what Henry did to earn a red card, though. sounds like a bit of a break to come back for the tie.

  8. #68
    The team is struggling because of the defense and goalie... Bouna and Sutton both have big flaws... Bouna sucks with his passing and decision making. Sutton sucks at stopping shots and last night showed horrible decision making.

    On defense, the only good one right now is Solli and this is the first damn year he's even played the position. Keel, Mendes, and Miller have been trash. Miller is at least a good passer however. But I'm still done with him because he offers nothing defensively. Sucks 1 on 1, no physicality in terms of winning headers.

    When we get Ream and Marquez back we'll be rolling though.
    Last edited by jetsfan1983; 06-20-2011 at 11:29 AM.

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Batmans A Scientist View Post
    Right now, it's a little more understandable. I didn't see the game, but they are missing Ream, Agudelo, Richards, and others. Takes a lot out of you. I didn't see what Henry did to earn a red card, though. sounds like a bit of a break to come back for the tie.
    Yes, that certainly doesn't help, but they've had problems pretty much all season with holding onto leads. Very frustrating.

    Regardless, that was a wild draw last night. Henry red card was total bull****. Referee completely overreacted on some jawing going on between Henry and the Portland player. Sucks that he's going to miss the match on Thursday because of it.

  10. #70

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by WoodyPaige View Post
    Well written, polite, concise, and completely accurate letter to MLS. In Europe or South America, that incompetent referee, at a minimum, would no longer be assigned to matches. In the extreme, if he would be beaten or worse.

  12. #72
    Yet another draw today. Yet another surrendered lead. Yet another goal allowed on a screw up by the keeper.

    What a shocker.

  13. #73

    Red Bulls trade Dwayne De Rosario after three months with team

    Dwayne De Rosario may be looking for designated player money next year, but he won’t be getting it from the Red Bulls.

    The Red Bulls today traded De Rosario to D.C. United for midfielder Dax McCarty, shipping the All-Star midfielder to his third team this season.

    "Dax is an exciting young player who will immediately add his dynamic style of play to our midfield," Red Bull GM and sporting director Erik Soler said. "He is an excellent two-way player who will contribute both to our defense and to our attack for seasons to come.

    "To acquire such a promising player, we had to make a difficult decision in trading Dwayne. During his short time in New York, Dwayne has been a consummate professional. We wish him the best of luck in D.C."

    De Rosario, 33, was acquired from Toronto FC April 1 for midfielder Tony Tchani, defender Danleigh Borman and a draft pick. His contract is up at the end of the season and he has let it be known that he wants designated player money next year.

    De Rosario, who played for Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, will make $493,750 this season while McCarty will make $175,000. When the Red Bulls acquired De Rosario they told him they would make a decision about his contract at the end of the season, but his age and his production (two goals and four assists in 13 games) apparently didn’t warrant that kind of money.

    McCarty, 24, played 13 games for United this year, starting 11, and scored two goals. His rights were acquired by D.C. from the Portland Timbers in addition to allocation money on Nov. 24, 2010 in exchange for defender Rodney Wallace and the lower of United’s two fourth-round selections in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

    Portland had drafted McCarty with the first pick in the 2010 Expansion Draft.

    McCarty was an integral part of FC Dallas’ run to the MLS Cup final last season when he played 21 games and recorded one goal and two assists. He also scored against Real Salt Lake in FC Dallas’ 1-1 tie in the second leg of the Western Conference semifinals and appeared in all four postseason games.

    McCarty, who has earned five caps for the United States, was drafted in the first round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of North Carolina. He has five goals and 19 assists in 106 career games.

  14. #74
    Does this mean they have their eye on a new keeper with the money they just freed up?

  15. #75
    Getting back in the win column with a boom. Total domination from start to finish with the 5-0 final. Now the DC scum comes up to RBA on Saturday. Should be a fun one.

  16. #76
    Bad game against DC... Was there to a good crowd and the Bulls just had too many bad players on the field...

    Tainio missing hurt bad. McCarty did not play his best game. Miller is still useless defensively although his passing can be good at times. Rodgers is still not at top form.

    The team just needs everyone to be healthy and some damn continuity. Once that happens, they are extremely tough to beat. We've missed Rafa for half the season it feels between injury and the Gold Cup. Hopefully he retires from that ****.

    Oh, and Ballouchy is just bad for a team. He's one of those players in sports that bad stuff just happens around. I would never play him any game, ever. Tainio back gets Ballouchy off the field which is great.

  17. #77
    Emirates Cup Champions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111 1111

  18. #78
    All League
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    North Jersey
    heres a coupon for anyone looking for tickets, expires 8/23

  19. #79
    Jets Insider VIP
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    May 1999
    Yo, what's up? Thought the return of Rodgers might've cured some ills. Apparently not. Shame if they can't make the playoffs in a beautiful stadium.

  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by JumbalayaJet View Post
    Yo, what's up? Thought the return of Rodgers might've cured some ills. Apparently not. Shame if they can't make the playoffs in a beautiful stadium.
    Rafa Marquez has been as bad as anyone on that defense (Save Tim Ream who was a US callup 6 months ago, and a total disaster now). He has some serious nerve calling out the team considering that he hasn't been any better than the rest.

    I can't believe an MLS team with Henry and Agudelo playing well can't make the playoffs in a league where 50% get in. The game against Salt Lake was an outright debacle


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