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The Red Bulls reverse jinx strikes again

Gabriel Cichero (

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When it comes to players leaving the club known formerly as the MetroStars, the reverse jinx almost never seems to fail.

Through the years there have been countless players who endured rough stints with the New York MLS franchise, only to move on a year later and do very well. Just recently we saw defender Diego Jimenez benefit from the reverse jinx when he scored a goal in his first game for Tecos after being released from his loan (and goal-less spell) with the Red Bulls.

Now you can add Gabriel Cichero to that list of players to enjoy some success after leaving New York. Cichero has played every minute of all four games this year for Caracas FC and scored two goals on Sunday to help the club post a 3-2 win against Estrella Roja. The win helped Caracas move into first place in the Venezuelan First Division.

The performance might come as a surprise to Red Bulls fans, who watched Cichero struggle badly down the stretch for the club, and finish without a goal in eight appearances for the club.

Sunday's performance was just one game, but don't be surprised to see Cichero flourish. The Venezuelan national team defender showed flashes of brilliance early on with RBNY before losing his confidence and becoming a real liability. Now that he appears to have regained that confidence, don't be surprised to see Cichero making a move to Europe a year or two from now.

So who are some of the other players to enjoy the New York reverse jinx through the years? Ezra Hendrickson, Tony Meola, Kerry Zavagnin, Ante Razov, Jaime Moreno, Eddie Gaven, Edson Buddle and Santino Quaranta are just some names that come to mind. It doesn't just apply to players either, as Carlos Alberto Parreira, Carlos Quieroz and Bob Bradley can attest.

What do you think of this development? Between Jimenez and Cichero, which former RBNY defender do you see having the better career? Who do you think will be the next player to enjoy the New York reserve jinx?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Changing the subject completely, what’s up w/ Cristian Gomez? Is he still available? We can load up on the fastest guys in the universe, but without players that can safely and smartly deliver service, this whole thing’s pointless. VDB was one of the few guys on this team that did that. Rojas showed inconsistent flashes before showing nothing. Gomez would be great.

    I foresee anguish and frustration on Angel’s face throughout the season if that little issue isn’t resolved.

  2. I feel like a retard reiterating a point that Ives made right before i did. I should prob look into reading other comments before commenting.

  3. yes Ives but Caracas FC isn’t on the MLS Level. Or is it?? Same with the Mexican Liga (my personal opinion) But they deserve the success

  4. I always agree with Aleegre and what’s with the EVEN COLOMBIA?, lol!!! Well at least you spelled it right! Let’s not argue on that, as I clearly prefer Colombians over Argentines or Brasilians.

  5. Im not suggesting that TFC is immune to this type of curse, i am suggesting that the impact has been minimal if not nonexistent.
    I dont think for a second Buddle would have made a difference for our team last year and we sure as hell know that Cunny didnt either.
    (dont forget Cunny started out strong at TFC then burnt out when he didnt get his way, i was a long time defender of the guy)

  6. AlJarov-
    Please tell me who?
    Watch him suffer this year without Donovon and Beckham to serve him the balls.
    Not a chance in hell id take him back
    Andy Panda the kiwi?
    Nuh uh
    Honestly ill be amazed if hes productive this year, he was obviously miserable with us and was given plenty of time. Even if he was scoring goals his attitude was bad enough to validate ridding of him.
    Esky was a bit of bad luck but its obvious he wasnt the what was needed at the time

  7. Listen folks, I added Eddie Gaven because he didn’t leave the club under the best of circumstances (his second-half swoon and terrible playoff showing in 2005 are why he was dealt). He didn’t really tear it up for the Crew his first two years but this year he scores the winner in the East final, wins MLS Cup with the Crew and earns a national team call-up.

    Meola makes the list because he was unceremoniously dumped by the MetroStars before the 1999 season having never even won a playoff series and a year later he’s winning MLS Cup and posting arguably the best season ever by an MLS goalkeeper.

    As for Razov, if you can’t remember how badly his tenure with New York ended then I don’t know what to tell you. He went scoreless in his last few months with the club after starting off very well (I’m pretty sure an injury played a part). He gets sent to Chivas USA at a cut-rate price and proceeds to have a great season with Chivas USA.

    And Jaime Moreno is the definition of the reverse jinx. He goes from spending almost the entire season injured with New York, and contemplating retirement, to being dealt to D.C. and leading them to the MLS Cup title. If that’s not an example of a reverse jinx then I don’t know what is.

    As for the TFC comparisons, they aren’t even close. First off, Jeff Cunningham ALWAYS does well when he first arrives at a new club so his modest success for Dallas can hardly be attributed to a TFC jinx. Secondly, why even include Alecko Eskandarian when he’s managed just six goals in two seasons since leaving Toronto?

    The only one that applies in that group is Edson Buddle, who has been lights out. One player does not a reverse jinx make, and it should be noted that he was with New York before he went to TFC, which is why I include him among the NYC reverse jinxes.

    Actually, considering the number of players who have come and gone in Toronto in the short time TFC has been around you would think there would be more examples of players rebounding and doing well elsewhere.

  8. And how many strikes got past him because he was concentrating on producing offense instead of manning his post? Let’s look at him over the course of the season and evaluate his defensive prowess.

  9. I think it’s a reality (though not a curse or jinx) that is explainable to certain factors:

    1. MLS is a tough league to play in. I remember reading an article where Danny Dichio was exacted what he’d tell David Beckham about adjusting to MLS. He talked about how draining the travel was (not just a 3 hour train or bus ride but 3 time zones), the range of surfaces (especially field turf) and America is just a big change for a lot of people.

    2. NY and northern NJ is also an adjustment for a lot of folks. Cost of living is high and it’s an area that’s all urban or dense surburbs. But you can live in Columbus or KC or some other MLS locations and have a cheaper cost of living (which matters if you’re not making 6 figures).

    3. This club has often been a poorly run affair. It really makes a difference when the coach isn’t going it alone, when the GM is competent and seeking players that fit the coaches’ vision, when there is a long-range plan. The club has often been chaos internally. And that kind of environment doesn’t bring out the best in most players.

  10. is there really a jinx? cuz if there is, it’s not just applicable to NYRB. there’s also a jinx for TFC.

    TFC saw only 7 goals in 48 games from Buddle, Eskandarian, and Cunningham (1 goal every 6.5 games).

    Then TFC trades these guys, and they end up scoring 31 goals in 80 games (1 goal every 2.5 games since).

  11. i dont care..the guy had all the physical talent in the world but rocks for brains

    its not like he’s ripping it up in argentina, brazil or even colombia for that matter

  12. Does Tony meola count? I mean he didnt win aything with the team but he did very well while he was here. He even made the All Star team a few times. I dont think Razov or Moreno really count either as Razov had a pretty good year also. Moreno isnt a victim of the curse as much as he got injured and refused to play for us. And has Gaven really fared any better since he left? He was good when he was here he just happen to be on a better team, but its not like he himself sucked while on Metro.

  13. Wendel, your memory must not be that good because if you had a good memory, and weren’t just relying on a peak at stats, you would know that Gaven was terrible the second half of 2005, which is part of the reason he was traded.

    I agree that Gaven isn’t the best example of this jinx because he hadn’t really torn it up in Columbus since he got there, but not because he was anything close to great before leaving New York. He did win a championship and played a big part in the playoffs, so I guess you can say he was reverse-jinxed.

  14. funny, isn’t it? yet another player who struggles in MLS and yet does very well in another league. it’s like maybe MLS isn’t as mickey mouse as all the eurosnobs think it is? simply put, few international players make an immediate impact on MLS, no matter how good they are (with a few notable exceptions) it takes a season to get used to MLS, players without the patience to adjust their expectations to the reality will fail.

  15. I thought Jiminez looked like a very good player and will be a real loss.

    NY aren’t alone in making players look bad – Toronto, I think, have an even worse record of misusing talent before kicking it to the kerb, only to watch it flourish elsewhere.


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