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MetroStars & Red Bulls

Despite their name, the New York Red Bulls and their predecessor, the MetroStars, have called New Jersey home since their first season. The year was 1996 and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars were on of the 10 original teams in Major League Soccer. The MetroStars dropped the New York/New Jersey identification after two years. They played their home games in Giants Stadium through 2009. In 2006, the team was purchased by the Austrian company that makes Red Bull and renamed the New York Red Bulls. They moved to their current home, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, in 2010.C400MetroStars

The core of the original 1996 MetroStars was made up of New Jerseyans Tab Ramos, Peter Vermes and Tony Meola, as well as Roberto Donadoni, a veteran midfielder signed from AC Milan. The MetroStars failed to live up to high expectations, losing more often than they lost in their first decade, including a 7-win campaign in 1999. The 2000 team featured two new superstars, Lothar Matthaus and Clint Mathis. Mathis was a goal-scoring machine, netting five in one game that season. The team finished first in the Eastern Division that year but fell in the semifinals of the playoffs. There were flashes of hope during the ensuing seasons. In 2003, the MetroStars played in the final of the U.S. Open Cup.

After the team became the Red Bulls their fortunes shifted. In 2006, they defeated German club Bayern Munich in a friendly game. In 2007, Premier League star Juan Pablo Angel joined the club and led them on an inspired playoff run the following season. The Red Bulls defeated the Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake to reach the MLS Cup Final against the Columbus Crew. The game was tied 1–1 in the second half but the Crew netted two goals to win 3–1.

wrightphillips2The 2009 season was a disaster, with the Red Bulls going winless on the road. However, they righted the ship in 2010 after moving into their sparkling new arena. Thierry Henry joined the club in July and the team won the East, improving from 31 points to 51 points—an MLS record. The Red Bulls enjoyed their finest regular season in 2013. They won the Supporters Shield with the league’s best record under new coach Michael Petke. As a player, Petke established the team record by appearing in 169 games.

In 2014, Henry tied the team record with 14 assists and Bradley Wright-Phillips tied the MLS record with 27 goals. Prior to the 2015 season, Petke was replaced by Jesse Marsch.

 

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