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Top 10 Red Bulls' Moments in 2013

As the curtains come down on 2013, we take a look back at what's probably the biggest year in team history.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This past year was probably the biggest year in Red Bulls history. Of course, you know the drill: They won the Supporters' Shield, their first real trophy, there's a team legend in he technical area and, for once, management seems to know what it's doing.

With 2013 winding down, let's take a look back at some of the biggest moments over the last 365 days.

10. The Red Bulls DON'T blow up the roster

In years past, the Red Bulls front office would probably have made wholesale changes to the team this off-season. While some players were let go -- Fabian Espindola, David Carney and Brandon Barklage come to mind -- Andy Roxburgh, Mike Petke and company didn't blow up the team in favor of an all new squad. Several players will be making returns in 2014 and the list of needs is small.

The goal was the MLS Cup, and even though they fell short, 2013 was a good start. For once, it seems the guys in charge realize a complete makeover would only set the team back.

Continuity: It's something new around Red Bull Arena.

9. Cahill scores at the death to save a point against the Revolution

What the Red Bulls did win was he Supporters' Shield, and speaking of the Shield, it was still very much up in the air when the New England Revolution came to town with two games left to play. After a questionable penalty call and Diego Fagundez making Carney look silly, the Red Bulls needed someone to step up to keep their trophy hopes alive.

That guy was Tim Cahill. Like so many other times during the 2013 season, the Australian came through when his team needed it the most. With almost no time left, Cahill put just enough weight on a header, floating the ball over Matt Reis' head and into the goal. The game ended 2-2 and the Red Bulls would stay atop the East and the league.

8. The Houston Dynamo end the Red Bulls' MLS Cup hopes

As previously stated, the goal was the MLS Cup.

Unfortunately, after an emotional run to the Shield, there just wasn't enough gas in the tank to take home the MLS Cup, too. After a dominant first half in Houston, the Red Bulls coughed up two goals and the series went back to New Jersey level. At the end of 180 minutes, it was 1-1 (3-3 on aggregate). If this were Europe, the Red Bulls would be on through to the next round.

But it's not. The Dynamo, who were more than content to bunker down for most of the game, slipped a goal past Luis Robles in the second half of extra time, putting them up 4-3 on aggregate. They'd hold on and the Red Bulls would go home.

7. The Red Bulls go into Seattle and pull out a draw

The Red Bulls might have been at the top of the East and the league in late September, but heading into their match-up with the Seattle Sounders, they weren't considered favorites by many. That distinction would go to their hosts, who came into the game riding a five-game winning streak with games in hand. The Sounders, it seemed, were unstoppable.

While the Red Bulls were riding their own four game winning streak, they'd be without Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave, thanks to the Century Link Field turf making them trendy picks to drop points.

But even with two of the league's best out of the line-up, they still pulled out a draw.

The Sounders would go on to execute one of the biggest choke jobs in league history, while the Red Bulls would go on to win the Shield, games in hand be damned.

6. The Red Bulls go into Sporting Park, and win

The Red Bulls haven't had very much luck at Sporting Park since it opened. But that changed this summer, when the Red Bulls went into Kansas City. There, they made the most of their opportunities, counter attacking their way to a 3-2 win.

More significant, though, is that it was Petke's first real tactical victory as a manager. He was content to have his team absorb pressure, and beat Sporting Kansas City on the counter, and that's just what they did.

5. Cahill nets two north of the border

Cahill wasn't having the best of times when the Red Bulls went up to Toronto in late April. Sure, he was doing a lot of the intangible things, but he wasn't scoring goals.

That all changed an April afternoon against Toronto FC. He slotted home the first goal, with his foot, then slammed home the late winner with his head.

Cahill would go on to be the Red Bulls savior more than a few times during the season. And it all started against Toronto.

4. The Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake play the game of the year.

When the Red Bulls and RSL met in late July it was a clash of two of the league's best. And the game fit the bill.

The Red Bulls took an early lead with a goal from Cahill and a penalty from Espindola. But Alvaro Saborio would score on a penalty before halftime. He'd score two more after the 80th minute to give the Utah side the lead.

But it wouldn't end 3-2. Espindola would draw a second penalty and bring the game level in the 89th minute. Then, at the death, Dax McCarty got his head on a Brandon Barklage cross to win.

3. Red Bulls hire Petke as their head coach

After a fruitless coaching search that started almost immediately after the Red Bulls got bounced from the 2012 MLS Playoffs by D.C. United, the Red Bulls found what they were looking for all along in team legend Mike Petke.

Petke, who had been with the team in varying capacities since his retirement in 2010, was already running training sessions as the interim head coach. But Roxburgh liked what he saw, and peeled he "interim" tag off Peke's title, giving him full control of the team.

Even without much input on personnel, Petke imbued the team with the bite and never-say-die attitude he had in his playing days. Already stocked with talent and experience, it was Petke's attitude, it seemed, that put the Red Bulls over the top.

2. Henry and Petke skirmish at training

The Red Bulls skidding through August -- earning only a point in three games -- when Henry and Petke clashed in training.

While the team has been mum on exactly what happened, whatever happened galvanized the team. They went on to beat D.C. United 2-1, Houston 4-1 in Houston, Toronto FC 2-0 and FC Dallas 1-0. The winning streak would come to an end with a 1-1 draw in Seattle against the Sounders, but the Red Bulls wouldn't lose for the rest of the year, finishing 6-0-2 post-fight.

1. The Red Bulls clinch the 2013 Supporters' Shield with a big win over the Chicago Fire

As if it could be anything else.

In an almost poetic nod to team's history, the Red Bulls go down 1-0 early, with former MetroBull Mike Magee scoring an early goal. That made things edgy in the stands, but guys on the field didn't panic. Henry scored an absolutely absurd goal, kissing the ball off the crossbar and into the goal, beating Sean Johnson and bringing the game level.

That was just the start of an assault that saw the Red Bulls score four goals, seemingly at will. By the time Jonny Steele scored in the 84th minute, the game was little more than a formality. Even with the Fire grabbed one back in the 90th minute, it hardly mattered, and barely anyone remembers it. The fans were already in the throes of celebrating the team's first ever real trophy.