May 10, 2015
MY TWO CENTS
This soccerholic loves New York roots for Red Bulls, NYC FC as he has season tickets to both teams
In his own words, this fan of the beautiful game has followed the Red Bulls through the years and has started to attend New York City FC games as well. In fact, he has season tickets to both Major League Soccer teams.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
This area resident has asked to remain anonymous, but has gone out of his way to relate his passion for the sport in the metropolitan area.
This is his story:
I'm a soccerholic and am especially passionate when watching the World Cup and live professional matches. I have season tickets to the Red Bulls and NYC FC so I did not switch; I think MLS was very smart to avoid having their home games conflict with one another. If the league was to change that approach, and have several home ties overlap, then I would probably end up dropping season ticket packages for one of the teams.
It will be difficult to attend all of these matches but it's my one outlet and a labor of love. Sports in general are cruel because there is only one top dog at the end of the season. The way I see it, with New York having two teams, I've doubled my chances to have an MLS Cup winner. Just win! (We have a long ways to go to catch up with LA, which has five championships, and D.C., who has four).
I think their approaches to running a business are diametrically opposed (at least so far) -- from first team matches all the way to youth player development. The Red Bulls model of business is "our way or the highway" whereas NYC FC is more collaborative in nature. The Red Bulls set up their own training sessions throughout the region where as NYC FC worked with existing clubs to form a developmental league. The Red Bulls makes radical changes to the fan experience without input whereas NYC FC regularly requests input through City Voice. In the end, I'm looking for attractive, effective soccer in a great environment; while their approaches are different, they could both achieve the same result.
Red Bull Arena is a mecca for soccer enthusiasts, and when the Red Bulls play attractive soccer there, it's a top-notch experience. Amado Guevara (who predated Red Bull), Juan Pablo Angel and Thierry Henri were all worth the price of admission. I hope someone of that ilk joins the team soon because with Luis Robles, Dax McCarty, Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips, the Red Bulls have a very solid foundation; these aspects are positive. I do miss the MetroStars' days of more intimate interaction with the club/players and wish the Red Bulls put forth a better effort in CONCACAF Champions League and Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup competitions; their record is abysmal. Some decisions, such as firing Bruce Arena after such a short stint, do not make any sense to me.
It's too early to do an assessment of NYC FC but you couldn't ask a club to make better moves than to hire Jason Kreis as coach and to sign David Villa. Their both quality and classy. I'm most concerned with the backline (especially if George John cannot contribute) and midfield consistency. I'm also disappointed that the City of New York cannot put pressure on the Glasers to sell the lot with the manufacturing facility at fair market value so that a new soccer-specific stadium can be built there but that's a City of New York issue; I would like NYC FC to remain in the Bronx.
I'm sure there are some people out there who do not understand how I can support both teams. Even though a fair number of New Yorkers have explained to me how it is difficult to take the Path to Harrison, N.J. I could never relate to that argument when there was only one team in town. Also, in the big picture, soccer fans in the U.S., even if they represent rival teams, have much more in common with each other than with non-soccer fans in the U.S.
I don't know any Red Bulls fans who became NYC FC fans, but I do know a handful of Red Bull fans who are disgruntled by the "our way or the highway" approach to running the business in general and to the treatment of Mike Petke in particular. My feeling is that whenever you bring in a new general manager, that person must see "eye-to-eye" with the coach and so what transpired was always a possibility (I say that with deep appreciation for what Petke means to this franchise; you couldn't ask for better honesty and passion from a player/coach; it was so refreshing.)
On the days when NYC FC and the Red Bulls play each other, I'll be rooting for attractive and intense soccer matches and let the chips fall where they may. Go New York!
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