Top Stories

A Supporter’s View: New York Red Bulls


The vibe in Red Bulls land is a happy one following the club’s 2-0 win against Columbus on Saturday. Beating the Crew without Jozy Altidore and without injured starters Dane Richards and Hunter Freeman provided a sense of relief for fans who were worried the club was heading into the season unprepared to compete.

In the very first installment of ‘A Supporter’s View’ SBI correspondent Andrew Keh was at Giants Stadium and provides us with his view of Saturday’s performance (Feel free to provide your reaction to Andrew’s piece in the comments section below):

A memorable night and a shutout victory

by Andrew Keh

At around 7pm on Saturday night, as I stood with friends in Giants Stadium’s Lot 18, I ate the type of absurd, grand finale burger that typically appears as you start to pack up your grill and chair and chug your last beers.

It was a true original: a turkey patty beneath a beef patty, with mozzarella cheese, three slices of tomato, and an even layer of French Onion Sunchips in between. Easily pleased as I am, I was in good spirits when I settled into my seat in Section 105—across some Villa fans half-heartedly and unsuccessfully asking Juan Pablo Angel for a wave—and I left in similar mood at the end of 90 minutes.

In a classy move by the organization, each of the first 7,500 fans at the stadium was given a free supporter’s scarf, and the added color in the stands definitely improved the aesthetic side of the game’s atmosphere early on. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that it’s the little things like this that will ultimately combine to elevate the soccer experience at Giants Stadium to where we all would love it to be.

It was also a smart move, I think, to pack as many people as possible onto the side of the field opposite the benches and condense the ESC crowd behind the goal. Tighter confines heighten group awareness. And I’m sure it looked better on television.

I was just starting to soak all of this in, bloated, when Dave van den Bergh’s 25-yard strike put the Red Bulls ahead, 1-0. Columbus Crew captain Frankie Hejduk deserves a warm “thank you” from Red Bull fans for coming out completely unprepared to play and giving the lanky Dutchmen the three big steps he generally needs to line up a decent shot. Crew keeper Will Hesmer was also kind enough to bungle said shot off the bounce. So thanks, you two guys.

Van den Bergh was eventually announced on the stadium PA as the game’s Man of the Match. He showed up on the score sheet with a goal and an assist (though I think Angel deserves most of the credit on the second goal for keeping the long corner alive with some good hustle and a clever flick) and he was his usual smooth self in three positions—left midfield, defensive midfield, and left back—over the course of the game. 

But while the shiny surface of his shaved dome might be the only smooth thing about Seth Stammler, he was my personal pick for Man of the Match. As one of two defensive midfielders in Juan Carlos Osorio’s 3-5-2, he was an absolute pit bull, charging one loose ball after another with reckless abandon, and he never stopped running. For 90 minutes, Stammler looked like the prototype for an MLS player on turf—the anti-Caudio Reyna—with quick reflexes and a dogged determination that kept him a half step ahead of every awkwardly bouncing ball and deflected pass.

Stammler’s play for me was the highlight of an overall strong defensive performance by the Red Bulls (save for Jeff Parke’s inexplicable, studs up challenge, which had me sitting there with the same confused expression I get while watching Rock of Love with Bret Michaels—”wait, what just happened?”), and watching them keep their shape for 90 minutes, I was reminded of an interview Osorio gave to the New York Times’ Jack Bell last year when the Colombian was still with the Fire, and this illuminating quote:

    “When I was working for Man City I remember the year Chelsea won the league, they had something like 18 1-0 win and I think that’s a sign of well-balanced team. Chelsea have many players that cost over 15-to-20 million pounds, but they didn’t go for broke every game. They defended properly as a team with numbers and scored one goal or two and it was enough to win the championship. I think that works well for us, too.”

I love goals and attacking play as much as anyone, but after all these years of frustration, I can’t help but be excited at the prospect of the Red Bulls’ not losing points from cheap goals and messy defending.

Now excuse me till next week, I’ve got to get on a treadmill.


  1. Great commentary, great game. Let’s hope Osorio and team really turn it around and become contenders. Viva Los Toros Rojos!

  2. Ives,

    As a suggestion to eliminate the clutter of Supporter View Articles, why not have one article with all the Supporter Views links (or two, separated by conference [thus you would get a lot of rivals viewing other Views]). Just a thought.

  3. Great report!!! Sometimes I dream…What if everyone on the Red Bulls played at Angel’s level? He could still be playing in the EPL. JPA a total joy to watch.

  4. Great work, Andrew! Looking forward to reading your column this season.

    Not having Jozy in the lineup was a bit of a bummer, but let’s hope he’s ready to go in two weeks at home vs. the Revs.

    This was my first game as a season ticket holder and my friend and I had a great time. I’m in Sect. 105, in the middle of Row 8. Drop by and say hi sometime.

  5. Sorry for being a downer but I didn’t necessarily enjoy that. I skipped the last three paragraphs.I mean, what should I say? Congrats for being drunk the whole time!?

  6. Sorry for being a downer but I didn’t necessarily enjoy that. I skipped the last three paragraphs.I mean, what should I say? Congrats for being drunk the whole time!?

  7. Way to definitely set the bar high. I hope you continue to write with such prose and detail. You dragged me into the seat next to you…and I now am grateful that Ives implemented this weekly report. A success to both of you!

  8. Great write-up. The only thing I can argue is Stammler for MotM. His passes were off all night. I mean, right to the opposition. He broke up plays very well though.

  9. Nice, Andrew. Very nice. But that burger?!? Guh. That’ll kill you, brother. Giants stadium did look a lot better on TV than I’ve seen it before… not a difficult task but still, you rightfully gave kudos to RBNY.

    Columbus is still garbage.

  10. Oh.

    So that’s how you write a supporter’s view column.

    I think I would have been too catatonic from that burger to be able to write so coherently.

    Nice read.

  11. All things considered, it was a good win. Reyna played well in the new formation, as did Etcheverry, which causes me to wonder wheter Osorio will give Jozy a lot of playing time this year. With the European transfer window set to open again in about 2 months, Osorio may not want to let the team gel with a player who is bent on departing. In his post-game interview on FoxSoccer Channel, Angel alluded to the fact that he wanted to be able to get comfortable with another striker that would be there the full season. Should we read between the lines??

    Harsh assessment of Frankie Hejduk, though. Sure, he got burned once, but he was about the only field player for Columbus who looked good for the entire game.

  12. Saturday was a long day for me. Started our tailgate at 12:30 telling people we were tailgating for the flea market.

    Ended the night in the parking lot near gate D about 10pm with my buddy jumping on his six foot unicycle and juggling fire.

    Oh…and a victory. Yup, an awesome day.

  13. Andrew, nice report. Good start for the Supporter’s Views. Credit for the 2nd goal really goes to the Red Bull who single-handily shoved 2 Crew players to the ground allowing Angel’s ball into the goal-mouth.

  14. Great work, Andrew. This definitely set the bar high. Good luck to the rest of the writers following Andrew. Though if this article is any indication of the rest, then we should all be looking forward to what’s coming.

    Liked Andrew’s anecdote about the tailgate and the burger to begin the story then tying it all in at the end about getting on the treadmill. Ha! Good stuff. This isn’t his first rodeo, I presume…


Leave a Comment