So long, farewell & good bye. This coming Saturday, October 24th will officially be the very last time that this club (MetroStars & Red Bull NY) in the NYC metropolitan area & US Soccer will call home. This famed stadium named after the NFL team that plays their pointy ball seasons also shares it with the other football league in the American first division.
This stadium has seen it’s share of top musical performers, American Football performers and the top football performers from around the world as well as the top clubs in Europe, South America & the ever popular 1994 World Cup. There has been two clubs to call it home on two separate eras. We all know about the New York Cosmos during the North American Soccer League with Pele, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia, Roth, Messing, Eskandarian, Carlos Alberto and many more that donned the all whites at home and scorched the nets filling every seat, every row, section and level. Winning a couple of Soccer Bowl titles to add to their history.
But with such a separation from the end of the NASL to the start of the MLS a World Cup would revive the thirst for a professional first division and of course this stadium would be home to the club named after a company called Metromedia. Professional football made its return in 1996 & while there hasn’t been too much success in this era than the last, the club still had some popular players to be proud of. US National Team players Tab Ramos, Tony Meola, AC Milan & Italian International hero Roberto Donadoni, Giovanni Savarese, Clint Mathis, Mike Petke, Rodrigo Faria, Tim Howard, Steve Jolley, Amado Guevara, John Wolyniec and of course currently as Red Bull NY Juan Pablo Angel, Jozy Altidore, Dave van den Bergh & Danny Cepero.
Great moments at Giants Stadium saw Clint Mathis make a 70yd run towards goal while going past three defenders and smacking the ball past Steve Jordan against then Dallas Burn on April 28th. Or the Free kick blast with the right foot, during the run of play shot with the left foot & then a header for a hat trick against the Kansas City Wizards on May 2nd in the 2001 season.
A golden goal overtime moment hosting the Columbus Crew on September 20th. Amado Guevara sent a 53yd free kick deep into the Columbus end and out of nowhere it was John Wolyniec who smacked it hard on a onetimer. The ball screams infront of Jon Busch and it snuck inside the far corner.
The first great moment for this club came on a wet and rainy May 4th night in the 1996 season. Down by three goals, Giovanni Savarese was subbed in and willed this club to get back into the match. The first two goals were considered own goals, but late in regulation and the clock counting down (Yes MLS did start both halves from 45 minutes to 0:00 in the early years) Savarese got under the ball and served a bicycle kick past the keeper for the defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny. The Metros would win the match in a shootout after a three all draw.
Of recent memory we all remember for RBNY in 2007 the exciting 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy when David Beckham arrived and nearly sold out the entire stadium. The two matches against La Liga powerhouse FC Barcelona, and let’s not forget the countless amount of players coming to play in MLS that made their appearance. Carlos Valderrama, Marco Etcheverry, Andres Herzog, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Landon Donovan & the many others that have played friendly matches for their National Teams. In fact Freddy Adu scored his first MLS Goal at Giants Stadium for DC United on April 17th, 2004 as Metro defeated DC United 3-2.
And now is the moment where we in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area who have supported this club that was told of a plan to get out of Giants Stadium and into our own has finally happened. There has been many road blocks but finally we can go to a place and feel like its home for the sport.
Here are the most updated pictures from outside and inside Red Bull Arena as the natural turf has finally been laid down and even thought you can’t see it in the second picture, on the web cam more than five sections of the lower bowl have been filled with seats. All that’s left in the new Temple of Football here in the states is to fill in all the sections & cosmetic touchups.
The best part of this stadium is that its accessible by rail either thru NJ Transit which you would have to take a PATH train from Newark, NJ or a direct ride from the World Trade Center PATH Station. Going from the 33rd Street PATH Station, you can also take a train towards Newark or transfer in a station that will go there.
I hope everyone will come over to see this brand new facility and have a wonderful experience when it opens for it’s first MLS match on Saturday, March 27th in 2010. Let me leave you with a wonderful video from Big Soccer Member Viper. He and his friend went to the seat relocation event at Red Bull Arena. It’s in two parts and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have, because this has been a long time coming.