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MLS- Philadelphia Union

New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union: Match Day Commentary

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The expansion Philadelphia Union is making its first trip to Red Bull Arena today to face the first-place New York Red Bulls in the first installment of a rivalry that should be one of the best in the league.

The Red Bulls come into today's match off a 2-1 home win vs. FC Dallas, but they have looked less than impressive in their past two matches. The Union come in off a 2-1 loss to Toronto FC in a match they actually played well in (with the exception of some serious gaffes).

I will be providing commentary from Red Bull Arena today so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today's commentary is after the jump):

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FINAL– That's all for me from the match. Please feel free to share your post-match thoughts in the comments section below.

Enjoy the rest of your day and be sure to make SBI your place to discuss all of today's MLS action.

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FINAL– Red Bulls 2, Union 1. A solid performance by the home team and a bit of bad luck for the Union, which didn't play badly today.

The Red Bulls improve to 4-1 on the season, keeping their lead atop the Eastern Conference. The Union is having its growing pains, but there are signs of promise from the young squad. 

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93rd minute– Danleigh Borman with a timely intervention in the area. Final seconds.

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91st minute– GREAT pass from Stammler springs Ubiparipovic, but he can't settle it in time to beat Seitz. Red Bulls corner.

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90th minute- Three minutes of stoppage time.

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88th minute– Dane Richards has put in some impressive work since moving up top. He's one of the few guys who hasn't looked out of sorts in the final 20 minutes.

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87th minute– ANGEL with a miss in the area. He hasn't looked quite right this year. Not at his full sharpness.

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85th minute– It's interesting to see Philly use two rookies today but Red Bulls top draft pick Tony Tchani doesn't get into this match.

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83rd minute– McInerney WIDE! Great build-up from Philly results in a good scoring chance the rookie can't convert.

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82nd minute– Not sure about this lineup for New York. It's primed for Philly to take advantage of, particularly on the flanks.

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80th minute– Wow, Philly's defense almost sent Richards in on goal, actually they did, but Seitz got to it just in time. Frantic moments there from Seitz, who doesn't need any more blunders.

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78th minute– Jack McInerney is in for Jordan Harvey. We'll see a 3-4-3 the rest of the way from Philadelphia.

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77th minute– Jack McINerney is coming into the match for Philly.

Dane Richards has moved up top now. Ubiparipovic on the left wing, Seth Stammler on the right in a Red Bulls midfield of four natural central midfielders.

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75th minute– Red Bulls goal kick. Can they hold on to this lead?

We've got an attack-minded Union lineup against a defensive-minded Red Bulls lineup for the final 15.

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74th minute– Seth Stammler is coming in for Ibrahim. Union with a corner kick.

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72nd minute– Ibrahim is on the ground after having been fouled.

Today's attendance is 15,619. That's about 5,000 less than it should have been for a game like today. The Red Bulls need to step it up on the marketing front. Obviously it won't be easy getting fans to come back after last season's nightmare, but the crowds should still be bigger.

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70th minute– Mike Petke with a yellow card, the first yellow card issued today.

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69th minute– Red Bulls made two subs right after the penalty. Danleigh Borman and Sinisa Ubiparipovic are in, Nielsen and Roy Miller are out. Not sure why Miller came out.

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68th minute– Philly needs to start wearing bulletproof cleats as many times as they've shot themselves in the foot this season. Orozco can't have his arm that high in the area.

This one is far from over. With Philly's attack-minded lineup I have a feeling we'll see at least one more goal. Just not sure which team will score it.

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67th minute- GOAL RED BULLS! It's Juan Pablo Angel converting the penalty to give NY the 2-1 lead.

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66th minute– PENALTY! Handball on Union defender Michael Orozco in the penalty area.

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64th minute– Nowak has made some sharp decisions today. Now he has Mwanga up top with Moreno, and LeToux on the right flank. Zimmerman is on the left, giving us the match-up of former roommates.

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61st minute– Anybody's game now. Can New York respond?

Philly just inserted Danny Mwanga for Andrew Jacobson. Philly is going on the attack now.

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60th minute– Yes, that counts as a jinxing of the Red Bulls defense. My apologies.

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59th minute- GOAL UNION, and it's LeToux with one of his late runs into the box. Great pass from Moreno. Red Bulls 1, Union 1.

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58th minute– Union still chasing the equalizer, but not finding much luck beating New York's defense.

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57th minute– Danny Mwanga is preparing to come into this match.

Just spotted Seattle Sounders technical director Chris Henderson in the house. Could he be scouting for a trade, or just for future Sounders opponents?

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54th minute– It should be noted that Alejandro Moreno seems to be going out of his way not to go to ground. Has Peter Nowak instituted a no-diving policy.

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52nd minute– Hall with a perfect cross that Ibrahim didn't have to do much to in order to send home. And yes, Hall will be doing a diary for SBI this week.

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51st minute– GOAL RED BULLS and It's Salou Ibrahim with the header off a beautiful cross from Jeremy Hall. Red Bulls 1, Union 0.

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49th minute– Zimmerman shoots it wide.

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48th minute– Zimmerman is on the right wing, so no match-up yet against close friend and former roommate Jeremy Hall.

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46th minute– Nick Zimmerman has come in for Roger Torres. A bit of a surprising move there. Zimmerman is facing his former team for the first time since being exposed in the expansion draft.

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HALFTIME– The most disappointing aspect of today's match is the turnout. A sunny Saturday and a 4pm start should have yielded a better crowd. The Red Bulls need to start doing better or the folks in Salzburg will start asking  

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HALFTIME– Red Bulls 0, Union 0. Some good possession, nice passing and sharp defending. A few decent saves, but the finishing wasn't good enough in the first half.

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45th minute– A back-and-forth game, but no goals yet. Both defenses have played well.

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42nd minute– SAVE SEITZ!! Stops an Angel shot after Angel snuck in behind the defense.

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39th minute– There's been good action today, but this match definitely needs a goal to open things up even more.

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37th minute– Arrieta with the foul on Salou. He has his hands full with the big guy. Long free kick for NY. Who will take this shot from 40? Robinson? Nielsen?

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36th minute– Union midfield has had some good touches, but not enough consistent possession. To their credit, their passing has been better than the Red Bulls midfielders so far.

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34th minute– Philly clears the danger.

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34th minute– Red Bulls corner kick.

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30th minute– Richards starts a break, but Philly clears the danger. Red Bulls with better play these past few minutes.

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30th minute– Ibrahim's a strong forward who can hold the ball up, but his passing with his back to goal needs to be much sharper.

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28th minute– Robinson just blasted a shot of Ibrahim's head. Good build-up from NY that time.

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23rd minute– Torres is so tough to keep tabs on. The Red Bulls can't afford to give him so much time on the ball.

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22nd minute– Salinas has basically neutralized Dane Richards with his speed early on. Nice lineup move by Peter Nowak, at least early on.

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18th minute– Philly is playing a 4-4-2, with Arrieta in central defense alongside Orozco. Shea Salinas is at left back.

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17th minute– Robinson has looked solid on the ball early on. He's an overlooked addition who could have an impact for New York.

Shea Salinas has done well against Richards early on.

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16th minute– Nielsen has been quiet since his first minute run. He and Lindpere need to get more involved for New York.

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14th minute– Red Bulls with a corner earned by Richards.

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11th minute– LeToux just WIDE! Nice give-and-go with Moreno. Philly is looking dangerous in the final third as far as passing. The shooting? Not so much.

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10th minute– Union has settled down and is into this game now after a slow start.

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8th minute– Salou Ibrahim looks much better today than last week, at least early on.

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7th minute– Good showing from both teams' supporters groups, though they might want to avoid singing the same songs.

IBRAHIM JUST WIDE!!. The big forward sent in a long shot from the top of the box but it sails just wide of the left post.

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5th minute– Philly finally puts some possession together. Petke does well to stop Roger Torres.

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4th minute– SAVE COUNDOUL, stops a LaToux shot on a nice Union counterattack. Moreno fed the pass.

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3rd minute– Red Bulls on the attack early. It will be interesting to see how the three-man defense holds up today. For those who forgot, Dan Califf is suspended for this match.

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1st Minute– Nielsen wastes no time getting involved. He's a quick one for sure. 

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1st Minute– And we're off. 

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PRE-GAME– A ton of fans are outside still (having arrived a bit late myself I saw some major lines outside). Should be a good crowd today.

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PRE-GAME– Fred will be key for Philly. He enjoyed much success vs. Jeremy Hall last season with D.C. and will test the Red Bulls fullback all day.

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PRE-GAME– Danish winger Brian Nielsen is in the lineup today, having just received his ITC and passed his physical on Thursday.

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PRE-GAME– Here are today's starting lineups:

RED BULLS

—————Angel——-Ibrahim————–

Nielsen————-Lindpere———–Richards

———————Robinson———————-

Miller———Ream——-Petke————-Hall

——————–Coundoul————————

UNION

————–Moreno———LeToux—————

———-Fred——————-Torres————–

————Jacobson—-Miglioranzi—————–

Salinas——-Orozco———Arrieta——-Harvey

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PRE-GAME– Good afternoon everbody. It's a beautiful day in Harrison, New Jersey for the first installment of this Red Bull-Union rivalry. Lineups will be up in a minute.

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91 comments
  • G

    How could Hall lose his man at the back post on a forward run? I think his diary may take a different turn….

    Like

  • smokedgouda

    2008 was when Beckham played, so that year was skewed.

    But that highlights my point: with big names comes big attendance. Wait until after the summer transfer window, you’ll see the names come in and the attendance pick up.

    Or you can just continue being a debbie downer.

    Like

  • smokedgouda

    NY is an international audience and expects big names and good soccer.

    The good soccer part is coming to fruition. The big names thing is clearly a priority with management, we’ll see a 2nd and maybe a 3rd DP here soon.

    Like

  • Ed

    When he’s not diving, I love to watch him play too. He seems like a real nice guy during interviews as well.

    Like

  • Gary in Philly

    Union are frustrating to root for. Good skill but stupid mistakes.

    However, the MLS is much easier to watch, all around, than it was just 2 years ago.

    Like

  • Cal

    How’s the “rivalry” feel Ives? Any more hostile than usual? It’s quite entertaining on the pitch. Who knew it’d be so competitive with the huge gap in quality.

    Like

  • Debbie Downer

    Just callin’ em, like I see em

    Great game

    LaToux rocks

    and

    for a regional “rivalry game” this attendance sucks

    Like

  • Ivan

    Union have been suicidal today(and not only today); awful mistakes on both goals…Orozco, ouch!!!They do deserve a point, but it looks unlikely now. Bouna is a liability, methinks.

    MLS’s quality is improving. Agreed that Torres and Lindpere have been great additions to the league.

    Like

  • G

    I don’t think I saw any crowd shots of the Union supporters. The crowd looked weak in general. I think that the Pacific NW rivalries will DWARF this supposed I95 rivalry. Way more passion for the game in the NW…at least of the domestic product.

    Like

  • BrooklynFC

    I’ve said it before and i will say it again Red Bull needs to sign a contract with the CW11…… there programming on the weekends is horrible…. get the red bulls on regular tv…..

    As far as attendance, at least the 15k at red bull arena makes the stadium look full as opposed to 15k at giants stadium, the stadium will def be full after the world cup

    I would love for Henry to be signed but I would not mind us signing a RM and moving Dane up top his speed up top matches Angel perfectly

    Like

  • BrooklynFC

    Ivan, “MLS’s quality is improving. Agreed that Torres and Lindpere have been great additions to the league.”

    +One Million to that

    Eastern Europe and the lesser South American Countries should be where we focus our efforts as far as scouting goes…..

    Like

  • GunneRR

    Excellent turnout by Union fans, who were “confined” in the away supporters section in the second deck. There might have been 500 of them.
    As for my fellow NYRB supporters, well, where is everyone??

    Like

  • GunneRR

    No way the crowd was 15k. It was closer to 10k. Except for the Philly fans, most of the second deck was empty.

    Like

  • madmax

    Union looked good. They play nice attacking soccer. If not for three or four howlers, Seitz, Califf, Oroszco, they’d be up with NYRB and KC. Great to see Nowak putting his rookies into heated battles and not during garbage time as many MLS coaches do.

    Like

  • attendee

    All these people on this thread talking about attendance (aside from Ives)…why weren’t YOU at the game? Or were you actually cheering and on your iPhone at the same time? Beautiful day and great game in the stadium. Get off your a$$ and come support.

    Like

  • what?

    Once again Philly loses another game that they dominated. It they can cut out the bs they could be a good squad.

    Like

  • Haig

    If by “dominated” you mean “pissed away a couple chances” then you’re right.

    NY look like a fourth place team to me. They’re still in first, but without solidifying their attack, they’re as likely to draw as to win. A DP playmaker would fix that issue.

    Philly are a decent expansion side. They might make the playoffs. They’re better than DC, at least, and if they tighten up, they’ll do OK. If any team needed Edgar Davids, it’s them, because Torres needs more room to work.

    Toronto < Philly < Seattle

    Like

  • birches aint chic

    does anybody known what they attendance was like for the rapids tonight?

    ALSO does anybody know why sean franklin ISNT starting for LAG?

    Like

  • Chris

    I was at the game today and the atmosphere was great despite having 15,000 in a 25,000 seat stadium. There’s no way you can expect a team to double its average addendance in one season. Don’t worry, they are on the right track and they WILL get there. The lower bowl looked completely full except for some scattered single seats here or there. The upper bowl was scarce in the endlines and about half full in midfield. The Philly supporters were packed into their one section as they should be with some overflow into adjacent sections. Like I said though, the atmosphere was great. I was in the first row of the upper bowl right behind the RB supporters sections. It seems as though the Red Bulls still average more addendance than the average NBA or NHL game.

    Once the surrounding area/lots of Red Bull arena gets finished, it will increase attendance. Plus word of mouth will spread. Also, they are refurbishing the Harrison PATH station. In my opinion, NJ Transit should create a stop right at Red Bull Arena (not just Newark Penn Station). But once the whole area gets completed I think NJ Transit will make a stop their.

    More people will go to the games because it’s a good time for the casual fan. Driving to the game was very easy as well, it’s 5 minutes from the Parkway, Turnpike, and two train stops and parking is only $10.

    **************

    IVES, what should the Red Bulls do to increase awareness (and addendance)? I was listening to WFAN (the sports radio station) on the way home and the update guys doesn’t even give a final score. I guess it’s a generational thing. Those older radio hosts can’t talk about/analyze things they know nothing about.

    Like

  • Ken

    Hello everyone just got back from the game and some observations and as a lifetime supporter have to say I love NY and WILL ALWAYS be a Red Bull fan no matter what but def. agree with all the readers and will call it the way I see it.

    I thank God we won but we are not playing that well especially out of the midfield and cannot understand why.

    Our subs SUCKED today!. We need midfielders to help Linpere and richards. Why did we take Miller out who was playing a great game today. Also we need to bring in youth as subs we because HAVE NO SPEED. We really missed Kanji today. UBI is very slow and was given two great passes by Angel and could not finish no speed and does not come back on defense. Stammler is horrible and trying to play him on top the last 15 mins made us look like an amature team. He is slow and has no offense. Come on folks why not play Agudelo who has speed with Angel. Salou is okay but needs time. As far as I am concerned without Angel we will never win a game and hardly score andy goals. Yes Angel is older but I watched him the whole game and he hustled and gave it all he had. He still commands a double team and he created alot of runs but no one there to help. He gave two great passes that anyone in the league would score one to ubi and one to stammler who is slow as a snail and of course they failed miserably. We can do better than this. Look at Fred on Phil.

    If Angel had a good attacking midfielder he would score 5 goals a game. Angel has every right to throw his hand in the air because no one gives him any service and if he does not come back to the midfield

    he never touches the ball. We need another speedy forward who can run off the ball and than feed Angel. Maybe Luke Rogers but someone. I agree we

    need one or two DPS and they should def. be a Strong feeding MIdfielder who controls the game. We have

    been lucky with penalties with Dallas and Phily but we need to improve once Seattle and Colombus come to town. In order to improve attendance we need good players. Besides Angel, Lindpere,REam Miller, and PEtke we do not have a strong team. I love Ream and think Lindpere really hustles. But we need to be an offensive team and not retreat everytime we score one goal into a zone.

    Hopefully we can find a few players one or two in midfield and one forward to run and create along

    with JPB.

    GO NY!

    Like

  • kpugs

    No disrespect for Philly, I thought they played fairly well. Their goal was just as much due to luck and bad positioning as anything else though. Combine that with the most obvious handbal-in-the-box as anyone has ever seen, and I think we deserved the win. But much like Seattle last season, this expansion club has been put together very well. Kudos to them on that, and I thank them for beating DC Scum.

    Anti Kudos to the Sons of a Guy from Boston, whose two flags I saw, and yet I didn’t hear a peep from. Weak for 500 fans at an away game.

    Like

  • Smith

    We are the only fans that can have a 4-1 record, a new stadium, a big increase in attendance from the previous season & still complain.

    Like

  • Lee

    Nielsen didnt have his legs under him yet but you can see he is a very dangerous player good get REDBULLS

    Like

  • nash bridges

    The more of Tim Ream I see, the more I like. He looks so composed on the ball, even under pressure.

    Like

  • Dan

    I watched the game on Channel 245 on Comcast in Philly (one of the HD channels for the local ABC affiliate). The crowd looked sparse. The Philly announcers said that Union already have sold 20,000 tickets for the May 15 game against Dallas and they expect another crowd of 34,000 for that game. It was a fun game to watch but very disappointing to see Union again throw away a chance for a point with one bad play.

    Like

  • mike

    For those complaining about the attendance it’s going to take MLS continuing to invest in bringing its play on the field to another level. The younger generation of soccer followers in this country has been spoiled on a consistent basis by wider exposure to the highest levels of play in the world. As someone who wants to see our domestic league succeed and grow I’m more interested in the fact that MLS is producing better and more watchable soccer each year. The ball movement, runs, offensive and defensive positioning, precision of passing and shot-taking and yes, even the infamous MLS “first touch” is all generally looking better and more sophisticated than even a couple years ago.

    Does the quality still have a ways to go before the current young American Eurosnob fanbase filling up U.S. gridiron stadiums wearing Ronaldo jerseys in international friendly matches and who are used to La Liga and EPL will deign to glance over at the league to start producing consistent 30K+ attendance figures? Absolutely! However, play is getting better and cleaner and with the hype surrounding the World Cup the league will continue to feed off the secondary attention spilling over to these “casual” fans if the league can prove they’re worth investing time and energy in.

    Basically, it’s not just about signing Beckham or Henry to pack the house. It’s about developing fans in the same way we develop players: through steady, extended commitment.

    Like

  • Mike

    Seriously, what a bore reading these whiners. The atmosphere was tremendous; the crowd sounded very knowledgable and as someone already alluded to, it’s been a success so far. Our attendance has increased, the product on the field is getting better and it appears we’re getting a tad more coverage every year but only us spoiled brats have to complain. I’m disappointed that we have such pessimists, including you, my dear friend Ives. It’s only the 3rd f-ing match at the new stadia after years and years of shyte!

    I, for one, was there with family and friends and the ny/nj supporters sounded great. And props to the Philly fans too but they were a little disorganized and quiet on their chants. Again, they too are young and will further bring more passion. This rivalry is gonna be fun.

    Like

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