As a New York Red Bulls fan, it's very tough to watch this Atlanta United side raising the MLS Cup, high in the heavens of Mercedes Benz Stadium. Yes it's another tough pill to swallow, when the side that beat you in the East Finals, is lifting that major trophy that has eluded this club since 1996.
But if you think about it, this side has helped RBNY more than once this season, as we should be grateful the club representing the Peach State has given this club a chance to win silverware and entrance to international club competition.
While it was a Derrick Etienne Jr. Goal that stood up defeating Orlando City, it was Toronto doing a number on Atlanta by smashing them four goals to one. That alone gave the Red Bulls their 3rd Supporters Shield in six seasons.
The excitement of watching a Shield race being so tight in the regular season, was a joy to watch, as we have never seen it so tight between two of the top teams in the east, and the league fighting for regular season glory.
The jumbotrons inside Red Bull Arena not only had the score of the game locally, but kept score of the other game as well. Once the final whistle was blown, the celebrations were on and then when the final whistle blew at BMO Field for a TFC victory, then the makeshift Captain America Shield was brought in as a replacement.
Fast forward now after the playoffs. Yes the Red Bulls were defeated on aggregate three goals to one by Atlanta United, watching them in the final was a very tough thing to do, but because the Portland Timbers defeated Sporting KC three goals to two on aggregate, that meant the last CCL spot was up for grabs.
Then the MLS Cup Final came on Saturday, December 8th, as every Red Bulls fan, as well as the club were hoping with baited breath to see if Atlanta United, was going to do another favor for them. Well after ninety minutes along with five added on for second half stoppage time, Atlanta United did the Red Bulls another favor.
Not only did Atlanta defeat the Portland Timbers to win their first MLS Cup in two seasons, but now RBNY will be making their plans to travel in late February, to face Club Athletico Pantoja of the Dominican Republic in the Round of 16 in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.
It's still painful for the fans not having the final at Red Bull Arena, at the same time, I was hoping to see that moment myself. But this is the next best thing and the hope is that the club can reset. Chris Armas can now have a full season as the head coach of the Red Bulls for 2019.
But finally, let me say this to the new MLS Cup Champions in Atlanta United. Even though you got to the final and won it fair and square, thanks for helping the Red Bulls getting the Shield and the CCL spot for 2019.
Two outta three ain't bad.