With the 5-2 win against the Chicago Fire, the Red Bulls take the 2013 Supporters Shield. In front of a sell-out crowd at Red Bull Arena, New York was able to beat back Chicago and hold the lead in the Eastern Conference. That’s pretty impressive considering that it only took 560 regular games and 30 playoff matches over the span of 18 years…yes, you read that right – 18 years!
This game was not without the usual drama, oh no! Former RBNY Mike Magee opened the game in the sixth minute (nice try, Magee, but Tim Cahill did it in seven seconds last week). But that was enough to fire up the Red Bulls to have Thierry Henry respond to the early goal – what do I always say about early goals, guys? I never like them and while they are fun to watch – in the words of Brad Colbert of Generation Kill fame, “Stay Frosty.” And that’s just what New York did.
And well, let’s just say the goals kept coming from then on because it felt like Oprah was in the house with NY when it seemed just about everyone was getting goals: Ibrahim Sekagya (49th minute), Lloyd Sam (56th minute), Eric Alexander (77th minute), and Aerys favorite Jonny Steele (84th minute). And yes, Chicago was able to get one last one in but it was too late and New York walked away with the points and the Shield.
“This is a great moment in our franchise, for the players, for the staff, for the supporters especially. It’s been a long time, it’s been a long time coming, and these guys earned it,” Mike Petke was quoted as saying after the match. It’s an emotional win for the team and supporters who have stayed true to their team. What’s the saying? Sing when you’re winning and sing when you’re losing – yeah, it looks like fans are finally enjoying the wins and obviously the rewards their team has brought home.
New York’s league-best finish assures them home-field advantage in the playoffs and the right to host the MLS Cup if they happen to advance to the final game. Their first match in the Eastern Conference semi-final will take place on/around Saturday, Nov. 2 or Sunday, Nov. 3, with the return at Red Bull Arena on Nov. 6 or 7.