The Difference Between The Red Bulls’ Two Supporters’ Shield Wins

Why these two supporters shield victories have different meanings
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Monday, October 26, 2015

On Sunday night in Bridgeview, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, the New York Red Bulls found a way to finally end a 15-game jinx by earning a 3-point victory at Toyota Park — earning their second Supporters Shield in three seasons.

Now they will await their opponent after the Wild Card games are done this coming Wednesday.

Supporters have seen RBNY get in a US Open Cup final in 2003 and a MLS Cup Final in 2008 with nothing to show for it. So maybe these two Supporters’ Shield trophies are the start of something wonderful — maybe fans will see a solid run to the MLS Cup Final that can be hosted at Red Bull Arena if the club can make that run.

After all, both shield wins are important and at the same time different.

At the start of the 2013 offseason Mike Petke was already named the interim head coach after Hans Backe was sacked at the end of the 2012 season. There was suppose to be Paulo Souza or Gary McAllister taking over the side and sadly both never came. The fall back plan was to hire Mike Petke who was an assistant coach for two seasons after retiring from the game in 2010.

It was a club filled with veterans that was led by both Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill who led the charge and played sensational soccer that on the final day of the 2013 season along with some lucky breaks coming their way in some matches, they would take out the Fire in a big 2nd half four goal explosion. Not only was this a great season for the club, but they earned their first championship of any kind behind a legend of this club who is also a local from Long Island.

After a big playoff run in 2014 along with Bradley Wright-Phillips record setting 27 goals for the club, and with the team tying the league record for most goals in a season, the legends reign came to an end by the new sporting director in Ali Curtis.

We all know about the hostile town hall meeting at Red Bull Arena, the signing of Jesse Marsch as the new head coach of the club and a faction of fans who demanded the club be sold by the Red Bull energy drink company that showed their displeasure by purchasing billboard time along the highway near the clubs home.

Slowly but surely the Red Bulls started to earn victories and while they did have a hiccup in late May/Early June, everything came together and the Red Bulls never looked back at their poor performances. A clean Sweep of NYCFC, taking out DC United for seven points in three games and let’s not forget this new attitude of a team first mentality.

Not only did the offseason acquisitions help like Sacha Kljestan returning to MLS from Anderlecht in Belgium, Glen Cove native Mike Grella scoring the clubs 100th goal in their history at Columbus along with scoring the fastest goal in league history at seven seconds. Let’s also not forget the clubs new USL Side that have seen Sean Davis & Anatole Abang graduate to the MLS side by playing well and scoring several good goals.

The turnover hasn’t been that bad with solid veterans like Luis Robles, Dax McCarty being the new captain after Henry’s retirement the boos and uncertainty became cheers and standing ovations for Marsch & Curtis. But the best thing about this Supporters Shield clinch has been the big victory at Toyota Park breaking the jinx and the Red Bulls defeating the Chicago Fire twice to hold that piece of silverware.

But while this victory is special and they have already punched their ticket to return to the CONCACAF Champions League and now can host all rounds of the playoffs including if they make it to MLS Cup, it will be in their building first Sunday in December.

But overall 2013 was joy and relief to finally earn some hardware with Petke while Marsch brought back belief towards the club and showed success while doing it. Time to see if the Red Bulls can continue this trend in the playoffs, by hosting the final in their building and make this special season complete. 

Daniel FEUERSTEIN

Nationality:
USA
College:
Ramapo College
Club Domestic:
Red Bull NY
Club Foreign:
PSG, ManU, Maccabbi Haifa
Original New York Cosmos fan, reborn soccer fan since 1994 USA World Cup. Feuerstein’s Fire podcast host. Covers NY Red Bulls for SN, and promotes all levels of American soccer from both sides of issues.
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