In honor of the first game against D.C. United in 2014, and the first edition of Hate DC Week 2014, Austin Fido and myself take a look back in time and pick our personal favorite for Best game at RFK in MetroStars/New York Red Bulls history.
Jason Iapicco: April 21, 2011 DC 0-4 NY
This was my first time going to DC to watch the Red Bulls. At the time, I was still a new fan and not a member of a supporter group. I didn't know about Red Bull fans making the trip down, especially on a weeknight. I went to this game with some friends from work, and apparently was the only one who knew where the game was as my friends (driving separately) ended up at Fed Ex Field and calling me from the parking lot.
Once they got there, we headed into the stadium and sat around Section 229-230, which is the same side as the DC supporters (I didn't pick the seats). I quickly learned how flexible those seats are, since they had them rocking pretty good. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long for the slaughter to begin. Henry, who was starting a scoring tear, opened up the game in the 12th minute after putting in a Juan Gunnar Solli (remember him?) cross. He added a second goal in the 28th minute and the visitors took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
The Red Bulls came back in the second half facing a invigorated DC attack after then DC man Dax McCarty was subbed out for attacking option
It was an exciting game, and as one of the first few games I saw in person, one I will never forget.
Austin Fido: August 29, 2012 DC 2-2 NY
Wilman Conde's stay with the Red Bulls was short and, allegedly, tumultuous. He arrived as a former MLS Best-XI defender who had been a darling of a former New York all time worst manager. Who knows, had Conde managed to pry himself away from the Chicago Fire in 2008 as he wished, maybe Juan Carlos Osorio would have won MLS Cup with New York that year, and perhaps there would have been none of the season long hangover RBNY called its 2009 season.
Instead, we got Conde in 2012: coming off a long-term injury, a little chubby to start the season, a little feisty in the wee hours, and ultimately not the multi-season, elite level center back RBNY hoped it was getting when he signed. He left in January 2013, having made just 19 appearances in all competitions and scored one goal. One marvelous goal. Whatever problems Conde had with Hans Backe, his teammates, or the club's administrators that led to the rumors of dressing room dust-ups and, ultimately, his departure; they can all be forgiven because Conde gave us one terrific moment to celebrate.
On his 30th birthday, playing out of position (Backe lined him up as a left back), Wilman blasted a shot from outside the area just past Bill Hamid, with just two minutes plus stoppage time remaining in the match. It turned a match that might otherwise have been remembered as nothing more than Lloyd Sam's MLS debut (he was a late game sub) into one to savor.
There are those who consider it somewhat shaming to celebrate a draw. But this is not celebrating a draw. This is celebrating going to DC, dangling the carrot of a win in front of them and their fans, and them slapping them all with the big stick of Wilman Conde's right foot. An 88th minute equalizer to silence RFK stadium is a joy to behold. Even, as I did, on television.
Thanks Wilman, hope you're enjoying whatever you are doing as much as we enjoyed what you did.
Tell us in the comments what your most memorable moments at RFK have been.