Now that the dust has settled and the 2013 MLS season has FINALLY come to an end, we can all sit back, relax and reflect on one of the most successful regular season campaigns in Metro history.
March 16th, D.C. United: The home opener. What can be said about this match that hasn't already been said about the film The English Patient? Long and boring, the Red Bulls dominated the match but couldn't quite find the back of the net. At least the snow was sort of pretty, right? Nil-nil draw.
March 30th, Philadelphia Union: Games against the Union are always a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand it's easy to absolutely despise the traveling Union fans and their propensity towards cheering whenever a New York Player gets hurt, case in point, when Connor Casey (who continued his legacy as a Red Bull killer by burying one off of a long throw in) barreled into Louis Robles. On the other hand, it's easy to completely ignore the actual team on the pitch. Besides fat Casey's goal, this match was never really close. Some nice play between Peguy Luyindula and Thierry Henry gave New York Supporters hope that the recent French addition would add some depth to the attack. 2-1 win.
April 17th, Sporting Kansas City: I doubt there is a more punchable face in all of MLS than that of Aurelien Collin. After heading in a Graham Zusi corner kick , the French defender felt no shame in doing Victor Cruz's patented salsa dance in celebration. He later went on to win MLS Cup MVP....so I guess we can't feel too bad, right? 0-1 loss.
April 20th, New England Revolution: Not long after the horrible events that took place during the Boston Marathon, the joint march to the stadium between the supporters of both teams sent chills throughout the soccer loving public of this country. New York might have won the match by a wide margin but, to me, the victory was far over shadowed by the spirit of New England's traveling support. Hearing them sing the National Anthem from all the way across Red Bull Arena is something I won't soon forget. 4-1 win.
May 8th, Montreal Impact: Keep in mind that this was when the Impact were still thought to be genuine contenders for the Supporter's Shield. An exciting game that saw Thierry Henry score one of the most incredible goals of the season and a final ten minutes that induced heart attacks all over RBA thanks to Marco Di Vaio. 2-1 win.
May 19th, L.A. Galaxy: A game played in wet and sludgy conditions, the play on the pitch matched the weather. Over hyped by MLS and ESPN, this "rivalry" was another boring affair with a thrilling end. Tim Cahill headed in one of the few well placed free kicks from Juninho in the final minutes of the match, causing RBA to lose it's mind and the Brazilian free kick "specialist" to release his now famous "beast roar." 1-0 win.
May 26th, Columbus Crew: If it wasn't for Olave luck, we'd have no luck at all. A game that would have been lost if not for the the Colombian defenders last minute, right place, right time, goal. 2-2 draw.
June 1st, Vancouver Whitecaps: I was at the Jersey Shore doing a food testing during this match, so I missed it. Not wanting my ticket to go to waste, I gave it to my landlord. His match report? "Those guys in the back of the stadium, (referring to the South Ward) they talk too much. I don't like that noise." So there you have it. 1-2 loss.
June 30th, Houston Dynamo: The first ever "red out" at Red Bull Arena. All fans in attendance were treated to a solid win and a free t-shirt that probably turned everything in their next load of laundry pink. Fabian Espindola ended a goal drought and
July 13th, Montreal Impact: An absolute dismantling of the French Canadians. This game marked the clear start of Montreal's slide into mediocrity and prompted Shep Messing to draw comparisons between Eric Alexander and Cristiano Ronaldo. It prompted the rest of the world to stop paying attention to Shep Messing. 4-0 win.
July 27th, Real Salt Lake: A real contender for match of the year. This one had it all. Nasty tackles, plenty of penalty kicks, ups, downs and last minute heroics. If Dax McCarty wasn't a certified Metro legend before, this is the game that put him in the books for good. One of the most exciting and nail biting matches in the history of Red Bull Arena....and I watched it from my couch at home. What a dumb world. 4-3 win.
August 17th, Philadelphia Union: ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. 0-0 draw.
August 31st, D.C. United: The only thing I remember about this match is that the Red Bulls won and that Ben Olsen and his team of thugs proved to be classless and unsporting buffoons. I'm glad their season was such a joke. 2-1 win.
September 14th, Toronto FC: Henrying was born and
September 22nd, FC Dallas: I don't know...I think we won on an own goal or something. I was too busy being awesome in Italy to care. 1-0 win.
October 5th, New England Revolution: Terrible officiating abound!!!! Thanks to a phantom handball, New England took the lead. Thanks to a ridiculous amount of "make up calls" and an unreal last second goal by Tim Cahill (who else?), New York was able to tie it up and I lost my voice for the next three days. 2-2 draw.
October 27th, Chicago Fire: Easily the best live sporting event that I have ever attended. A true sellout, RBA was packed and rocking. Rarely do you get a chance to feel that kind of energy in Harrison. The South Ward was at its best and everyone was ready to take the Shield home....and then Mike Magee happened. Early in the match, the once a Metro forward (see what I did there?) knocked in an easy rebound shot and sucked the energy out of the full stadium. Thankfully, Thierry Henry decided to take matters into his own hands, scoring a screamer of a goal and causing RBA into a collective orgasm. It was all gravy from then on. New York won the game and Mike Petke hoisted the Supporter's Shield in front of the South Ward for the first time in club history. Chants of "MICHAEL PETKE" rang out all over the arena and I went home beaming. I still haven't been able to wipe the grin from my stupid face. 5-2 win and the New York Red Bulls are your regular season champions.