Harrison, NJ - Last night, the New York Red Bulls hoisted the Supporters’ Shield over their heads for the first time in their 18-year history.
After extinguishing the Chicago Fire 5-2, the sellout crowd of 25,219 pro-Red Bull crowd finally had the moment that’s eluded them for almost two decades and that’s the right to say they’re the best team in Major League Soccer. It’s one of those moments that is now tattooed in my memory for the rest of my life.
As beautiful as it was seeing Mike Petke revel in his moment, the image of Red Bulls equipment manager Fernando Ruiz lift the Supporters’ Shield was epic. A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting his son, Sean Ruiz. Here’s the article I wrote of our conversation.
As the celebration continued, I couldn’t help but think of the former Red Bulls Latino Communications Duo of Ernesto Motta and Roberto Sierra. When I started covering soccer four years ago, both men always treated me fair. I would love to believe both men were ecstatic about last night’s triumphant moment.
As a closed friend of mine once expressed about their commitment, “I know these these guys bled Metrostars and Red Bull NY – have been here since day one and they wanted was to be here to help raise the MLS CUP. They were our Latino ambassadors to the game here in the Tri-State area.”
Speaking of friends, shout out to the Viking Army! I know many of you waited for this moment and I congratulate you. Around the time you were starting out, so was I. Truth be told, out of all the Red Bulls Supporters club, you guys are the ones I’m closest too.
They love the Red Bulls. I love the Cosmos & Timbers. For us, it was never about who we supported, it’s about community and soccer. Of course, there’s the banter & it’s all freaking good. If you can’t be ribbed by your friends, then why have any?
Not only are you involved with your club, the work you do in your community deserves to be commended. You’re my family and part of my success. I like to believe that it took a fastball down the middle to cement our friendship. You can read more about it, here. Here’s an excerpt of what I’m talking about:
Before their arrival, I was talking with Univision’s Daneida Polanco. She confided in me in that she knew nothing about soccer but she wanted to interview some colorful characters for Univision’s television shows, Primer Impacto and Noticias Univsion.
I told her not to worry and assured her that she’ll have the characters that she’s looking for. So I logged on to Facebook and immediately went to the their fan page and told them about their opportunity to be interviewed by Univision.
To be honest, their participation that day was one of those moments that helped shaped my career. As I promised you three years ago, if you need anything, let me know. Damn, I’m happy for you!
Rather than attend last night’s press conference and everything else that follows the conclusion of any match, I took off to Catas to congratulate and celebrate this moment with you. All our teams won this weekend, yes! You deserve this moment so embrace it and own it.
With that said, should the Red Bulls and Timbers meet in the MLS Cup, it’ll be appropriate that the two teams who battled against each other in an epic first match of season ends up playing the final one. Enjoy the postseason and I’ll see you at Red Bull Arena!