There have been very few "perfect soccer days" in my life. Gio's bike for Metro v Tampa in '96. Watching the US beat Mexico in the 2002 WC from Nathan Hale's in lower Manhattan. The US win over Honduras in Chicago last summer was pretty great. My first EPL match at Stamford Bridge in November was super.
This past Saturday at Red Bull Arena was perfect. Perfect weather. Perfect vibe. Perfect crowd. Fantastic performance by the Red Bulls, and truly the start of a new era in soccer not just for the NY area but for MLS as well. The 3-1 pasting of Santos by RBNY won a few converts, sold some season tickets, and announced loudly and proudly that this club and venue are forces to be reckoned with. The Seeing Red crew talks about opening night here.
Here's are my photos from my "perfect day."
Although this Saturday's Chicago match is nearing a sellout, one small experience stands out about the continuing fan conversion process. On the walk to RBA, my pal, son and I, in full RB regalia, passed a small girl standing in a Harrison storefront. She couldn't have been older than nine or ten. As we passed her, she taunted, "Red Bulls are going to lose." Over this season, and those to come, RB will hopefully win over the residents of West Hudson. After all, RBNY is their home team now.