Ironbound, NJ- March 16, 2010 -The opening of the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ has filled the air with excitement all over New Jersey. In the Ironbound section of Newark New Jersey were Brazilians and Portuguese live, residents in every street corner are talking about the New York Red Bull and the upcoming game against Santos FC, who will be featuring Brazilian mega star Robinho in the starting 11. The Red Bulls kicks off their first season in their new 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena on Saturday night before a full house in a facility that is the top soccer-specific stadium in North America.
Many Ironbound soccer lovers are disappointed to find out that the game is already sold out. But no matter what, the atmosphere amongst the Red Bull faithful and the local Portuguese and Brazilian community is electric.
At today's Redbull’s 2010 Media Day the winners of the franchise's all-time First XI, as voted on an online fan contest was announced.
The contest, which ran from Thursday, January 28 through Friday, March 5, gave fans the opportunity to cast their vote for the best players in the 15+ years of the franchise, with the First XI team taking the field in a 3-4-3 formation. The honorees as the New York All-Time First XI are:
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard.
Defenders: Jeff Parke, Mike Petke, Eddie Pope.
Midfielders: Youri Djorkaeff, Amado Guevara, Tab Ramos, Dave van den Bergh.
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, Clint Mathis.
Current Red Bulls captain and franchise all-time leader in goals scored, Juan Pablo Angel, was the leading vote getter. Petke and Howard had an equal number of votes to tie for second, closely followed by Guevara. Each was the leader at their respective positions.
The complete list of nominees for this all-time team was:
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, Rodrigo Faria, Clint Mathis, Giovanni Savarese, Adolfo Valencia, John Wolyniec.
Midfielders: Mark Chung, Youri Djorkaeff , Roberto Donadoni, Eddie Gaven, Amado Guevara, Tab Ramos, Seth Stammler, Dave van den Bergh.
Defenders: Kevin Goldthwaite, Steve Jolley, Carlos Mendes, Jeff Parke, Mike Petke, Eddie Pope.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Tony Meola, Jonny Walker.
"With the opening of Red Bull Arena, we are kicking off a new era in the history of this franchise," stated Red Bull New York Managing Director Erik Stover. "However, we cannot move forward without recognizing the talented players who have played for this franchise in the past, and I could not have imagined a better way to elect this team than by allowing the best fans in MLS to vote on the selections. All of the nominees were worthy, and I am pleased to present the franchise's First XI team."
The team is a founding member of MLS (1996 and since its founding played its home matches at Giants Stadium, at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey until the end of the 2009 season. The team's headquarters are located in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Over the years there were any famous team members such as Roberto Donadoni, Lothar Matthäus, Adolfo Valencia, Youri Djorkaeff, Amado Guevara. The team has had its share of famous coaches as well, including American stars Tony Meola, Tab Ramos, Tim Howard, Alexi Lalas (who was also the team's General Manager, for a brief time), Clint Mathis, and Eddie Pope have all played for the team.
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Carlos dos Santos, a local resident from nearby Ironbound, New Jersey commented (translated from Portuguese) that he “loves the idea of having the New York Red Bull team so close to his home.” Carlos first became aware of the team while viewing a video on the website vejatv.com. From that time, he has been an ardent fan of the team. “We Brazilians love soccer. The game is in our blood.” When asked if he has purchased a season ticket he said “absolutely and also for my two teen age boys.”
Full Season Ticket Plans for the New York Red Bulls' first season at Red Bull Arena are on sale now. Midfield seats in the 100-Level and sideline sections 107, 112, 124 and 128 are all sold out, but good seats are still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1.877.RBSOCCER or log onto www.newyorkredbulls.com.