I first was first introduced to Andrew Timoni by a friend of mine who is a diehard NJ Devils fan at the Prudential Center. Little did I know, Andrew was a Red Bulls season ticket holder - so we quickly ignored our mutual friend’s request to talk about hockey and began talking at length about the Red Bulls instead - becoming fast friends in the process.
After helping me to console a friend who still hasn’t recovered from the Devils losing in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning, we sat down for a lovely discussion about another red-colored team.
OaM: How did you first find out about the Red Bulls/MetroStars? And, perhaps more importantly: What kept you supporting them through all these years?
Andrew T.: I knew of the Red Bulls by seeing social media posts as well as billboards advertising the opening of the new arena. I’ve been a USMNT/Italian National Team and Juventus fan for years and a friend of mine gave me tickets to a Red Bull match. That match was 08/13/2011 and the Red Bulls drew 2-2 with Chicago. I went to two more matches that season and my now fiance and I became season ticket holders the following season.
We have been in section 102 since 2012 with the Viking Army. There are two reasons we keep supporting the team over the years. The social aspect is a big part of it. We have made some amazing friends over the years through the supporter clubs as well as the bonds and friendships formed on grueling away trips. Another reason is that yes, the club is still looking for its first cup, but the team is always competitive and the ownership/management is committed to growing the game from the youth level on up to the first team to give us a consistent successful club. They are always fun to watch. Through the good times and bad.
OaM: What’s the most memorable RBNY/MetroStars moment you got to see in-person?
Andrew T.: There are two moments I can say are the most memorable. First was defeating Chicago to clinch the club’s first Supporters Shield. In that moment, I felt such a connection with those that have supported the club since the beginning. Believe me, they deserve so much more credit than I do, but seeing that kind of moment in person was a great feeling. Second, the 7-0 victory at Yankee Stadium. A lot was made about the abrupt birth of NYCFC and through the fans and media it really appeared as if they were intending on taking over the NY area an pushing us aside. This victory showed that the Red Bulls and our fans are going NOWHERE.
OaM: Who is your favorite Red Bulls player of all-time?
Andrew T.: My favorite Red Bull of all time is Bradley Wright Phillips. When he scored 27 goals a few years back, he was considered a “product of Thierry Henry.” Since Henry left, Bradley has been improving year to year. This year in particular I feel confident in saying is his best year in MLS because he is involved in all aspects of the game. His assists have been great along with his goals and especially his headers. In my opinion he is the best striker in MLS history. He is also a great human being. Having met him a few times he is incredibly friendly and appreciate his fans.
OaM: Now onto the more current stuff: How do the Red Bulls replicate their success against NYC FC against the Columbus Crew this Saturday?
Andrew T.: It’s very tough to win away in this league. This week they will have a tough test in Columbus against a team that has been playing pretty well. The depth of this club will be tested yet again. BWP will be in the lineup. If Royer plays, it will be interesting to see what his game looks like with his new-found confidence from scoring a brace in the Open Cup match. If the Red Bulls can implement their high press in an efficient and confident fashion, I believe they can come away with all three points.
OaM: Finally, and perhaps most important of all: Do you think Ignacio Pussetto will be a Red Bull?
Andrew T.: I do not think the Red Bulls will acquire Pussetto. When the figure was report at 10 million, I thought there was a chance. Rumors were swirling which grew when he came to visit his friend Kaku. Some believed there were negotiations happening. Since then I have seen that transfer fee estimated at up to 20 million. If that is the case, I do not believe this player will be a Red Bull. I just do not believe that most, if not any, MLS clubs would be willing to spend this kind of money on a transfer fee. In that price range, he will have several European suitors and Europe still remains a more attractive destination compared to MLS because of financial and personal exposure reasons.
Many thanks to Andrew for his time and thoughts on RBNY.
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