RBNY Forced into Rivalry with NYC FC

New New York side and MLS doesn't pay respect to Red Bulls
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thierry Henry, RBNY - John Hefti Photography

So after several years of discussing the situation with the national and New York soccer media, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber has finally gotten his way.

On Tuesday, May 21, it was announced that Manchester City and their new (surprising) partners in Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees have agreed in bringing the 20th side to MLS.

While the Yankees have agreed to be a minority owner of this side, which would likely allow Manchester City to play their games in the new baseball stadium, MLS is still trying to find a suitable place to build this stadium.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, N.Y., will not have a new stadium built since Fred Wilpon, who owns the New York Mets, has territorial rights and would never allow the Yankees to have a sniff of parking money enter their pockets at Citi Field.

But while the league is celebrating this new achievement, there is a problem with the soccer fans that do make their way to Red Bull Arena.

Most feel ignored, shoved to the side and in fact as if they were smacked upside the head when they weren’t looking. Because while Garber ignored a New York side that has been a charter member since 1996 and started in the old Giants Stadium before moving to their new home in 2010, he felt that it wasn’t worth the time to care anymore because of a name change.

The facts are simple. This side known originally as the MetroStars were corporate from birth as John Kluge, the TV Syndicate King, created his MetroMedia empire and became the first owner of the side. Then AEG, which currently runs the LA Galaxy, saved the club as well as the league from going under at a time when 2 Florida sides were disbanded after the 2001 season.

But once Red Bull purchased the club in 2006 and renamed it after their product, they kept the history of the club alive and paid with their own money to build a crown jewel of a stadium in Harrison, N.J.

Yes, I know that the marketing hasn’t been there and it’s been tough since 2010 to fill the stadium consistently, but if it’s such a problem to fix, why is the answer to bring in another team in the New York City area?

Why can’t Garber work with the Red Bulls and fix this problem and get a solution? Maybe in Garber’s mind he’s given up and wants to go in a different direction, like he’s given up on helping DC United or the New England Revolution in breaking through red tape and finally building them a stadium.

But sadly, he has thumbed his nose at the supporters of the South Ward, which makes up the Empire Supporters Club, the Viking Army and the Garden State Supporters. It’s also allowed all the so-called soccer fans to go on Twitter to create silly and stupid arguments about why this will be better. No sense of real debate and causing more trouble than it’s worth talking about.

When the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League lost their owner, Gary Bettman took over to run the club and tried to find a new one as soon as possible. Just like NBA commissioner David Stern, who had the league take over the former New Orleans Hornets in effort to save the team. The Hornets were successful in New Orleans for the most part, and have since changed their name to the Pelicans to connect with its location and audience. It was only yesterday that the Hornets name – after moving to New Orleans – returned to its original home of Charlotte.

So far the NBA has saved Hornets name and brand, while I believe the Coyotes are still a bit in flux. But these men have or are still trying to find a way to help their respective teams remain in their league. Yet Garber feels that better results will be to force a rivalry down our throats, but there are 2 major mistakes he has made. Fans of the New York Mets who are soccer fans will not go because they hate the Yankees with a passion and they will never put their money into the Steinbrenner’s pockets. At the same time, no EPL supporter of Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea or any New Yorker who have serious ties to those or any club will not support a farm team that will transfer a player to the Etihad Stadium.

About a stadium

So now that we know who will run this new side, the question will once again be asked: Where will this new team build the soccer specific stadium, which is a criteria to earn an expansion side in MLS? Maybe Garber has forgotten that part of the deal, but many haven’t. If they plan to use the new Yankee Stadium, expect the home side’s pitchers to start complaining about the removal of the pitcher’s mound week in and week out since that can’t be there during a soccer match.

There’s another disturbing fact to consider. When a current side has built a new soccer stadium, they have had a chance to breath and allowed the supporters to grow with their new ground. Yet after the 2010 season, Red Bull Arena was already under siege by the league to bring in a new side as soon as possible.

So what does this mean for this 20th side? It should’ve been Orlando City of the USL PRO, but truly never had a chance in the first place because Garber ignored them and played with their hearts and minds when he did make a trip to talk to their supporters.

It goes to show that common sense has been thrown out the window and the only way to drive up TV ratings is to create a fake rivalry with a fake side that wasn’t built by a true grassroots effort. It was simply handed to both Manchester City and the Yankees by Garber.

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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