The 2015 MLS Season was a magical one once again as a new coach and a new sporting director got their players to believe in the system they wanted to play in and at the same time had to face an opponent that plays in a baseball stadium that has no history at all. While there were plenty of memories being made on the field, we also had to acknowledge the past since the league began back in 1996.
It was fantastic to see great players who came to play at Giants Stadium for fourteen years and then move to Red Bull Arena for these last six season and create these wonderful moments. The foreign stars that transferred over like former Italian National Team & AC Milan midfielder Roberto Donadoni, Former French Internationals Youri Djorkaeff & Thierry Henry & the Colombian Striker in Juan Pablo Angel.
I can remember Djorkaeff scoring a huge goal down at Toyota Stadium in Frisco against renamed FC Dallas as he struck a beautiful ball that looked like it was going high nail the inside of the far post and going over the goal line for a beauty. The bulldog mentality of Angel attacking and taking tons of shots to score a big goal, we can't forget the game winner against David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy as a crazy and wild nine goal night that nearly filled the upper deck of Giants Stadium as well as the match winner on a mid-week evening against the Houston Dynamo on the final kick of the match in second half stoppage time from 35 yards.
As Angel struck the ball from distance he nails the far post & it ricochets off the backside of Pat Onstad and into the back of the net for the first memorable moment in the history of Red Bull Arena. But we can forget about the brilliance of Thierry Henry who has always continued to create memories for a life time whether he was playing for Arsenal, FC Barcelona or his last club in the Red Bulls.
The famed Olimpico Goal against the Columbus Crew is always a great moment to see why he is still one of the greatest strikers in World Football. That fantastic moment towards the end of the match where he saw the backup keeper cheating off his line and taking the corner from the far side of the stadium was absolutely fantastic.
But we can't forget those American and those who are from our neighborhoods that have played for the club. Staten Islands own John Wolyniec or as I have called him Woly Magic, Clint Mathis who created several great moments by scoring five goals at the Dallas Burn/FC Dallas at the Cotton Bowl, The 70yd Slalom thru the Dallas Defense and burying the ball past Matt Jordan or the right foot, left foot, header hat trick against the Kansas City Wiazards.
The true locals just down the road in the next town of Kearny as Tab Ramos and Tony Meola was born and hoping one day to see this game and this sport become popular from their days on the US Men's National Team, to a true first division league and stadiums they can call their own.
Seeing these men who are local, born as American Citizens as well as international players and superstars coming over to play for a club that has been apart of our lives since the first ball was kicked back in 1996 which was two years after the 1994 World Cup was played. When you discuss this club you also talk about heart and soul players like a Mike Petke, like a Carlos Mendes and those other players who create magic with the ball like a Amado Guevara and loving our keepers like a Mike Ammann and a Johnny Walker.
Remembering the past is always brilliant when you chat with those that wore the shirt of the Red & Black as well as the Red & White and they let you remember what it felt like to have these great moments it will always be ingrained into your memory and putting a big smile on your face.
That's what it truly means to be a supporter of this club and remembering all those fantastic moments from 1996 till now and we hope that in 2016 more magical moments will continue after year one of the Ali Curtis/Jesse Marsch era.