We have finally come to the end of the 2017 MLS regular season and for the Red Bulls it has been a strange and wild ride that you never knew how they were going to finish. Either at the top, the middle of the pact or possibly below the playoff line and staying home.
But as this side will head to the Wild Card playoff one and done game, before that they will head down to our Nation’s Capital to face for the final time at the current home of DC United which is RFK Stadium.
The Red Bulls who are the longest and tenured hated rivals of DC United were given the distinct honor of being the final opponent for DC United and as someone who knows about playing for that club shared his views on closing down the Raccoon Lodge.
“So many of my close memories are from a long time ago. Now it’s more about playing there as an opponent and coaching there.” said Jesse Marsch, “My first professional start was there, scoring my first professional goal was there.
Played and won some championships was there, played in front of great fans, with great players and apart of great teams, so my two years there set the ton I think of what my understanding of this business is.”
But what’s Marsch’s real thoughts about RFK Stadium? “It’s time to put that thing to bed man. I’m excited there is a new stadium coming in, the DC Fans and organization deserves something better so it’s going to be great to find a new place.”
Every time the Red Bulls take on DC United it’s always going to be a big battle as neither side will back down from this fight that has been brewing since 1996. That’s what Alex Muyl expects every single time DC United is on the calendar.
“I don’t know what he tells them or what, but they are always up for every single game just as we are and I think the history of the two teams is a big part of it.” said Muyl, “The closeness and the amount of times we see each other makes it such a battle.
You saw the last game, it got chippy in the end and it was a very good game last game, it’s always been a fun game to be apart of and heading down to RFK is going to be something special as well as a challenge.”
We can’t forget that RFK Stadium was a strong hold for US Men’s National Team games for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, World Cup Qualifying and an occasional friendly game here and there.
The amount of games our national team played there have been memorable and also some games have been heartbreaks. Kemar Lawrence who is a Jamaican international has at least had one or two games for his country as well a the many during club season for the Red Bulls.
“Down at RFK it’s always an amazing place to play, always know when we go there, their fans turn out and it’s a good team and close by as well.” said Lawrence, “Love to see our supporters come down to enjoy the game.”
So as the end of a dinosaur of a Stadium in the MLS 1.0 era RFK Stadium will host it’s final MLS regular season match with the biggest rivalry in the history of the league. Time to say goodbye and good riddance as this league continues to grow and improve on all levels of the game.