It’s no secret, Chris Armas always states that they take every match one at a time. For New York Red Bulls this time it was just a little more than that.
It resulted in winning the Supporters Shield. Along with breaking the record of most ever points in the league, which was only set last year, along with many other records, such as most wins ever, and breaking own personal team records.
It’s history being made, a legacy just only starting.
For New York Red Bulls, It Was Just Another Game
Coming into this match like all other matches New York Red Bulls knew that the fate of the Supporters Shield was something that they needed the win for. Even when Orlando City SC hasn’t had the greatest season, they take all opponents seriously.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” said Armas before the match. “Every game is tough right now. In the playoffs, not in the playoffs, it really doesn’t matter… The guys know the result Orlando just had and in maybe a decisive way they played against Columbus and took those points, so they’ll be tough.”
For some players like Bradley Wright-Phillips, it was going up against a friend, and old teammate Sacha Kljestan who looked to play spoiler.
“If I was him I’d be trying to win too,” said Wright-Phillips. “Their season hasn’t been great, so they’re going to have to get something out of it. For him, that’ll be a big accomplishment, so he can stop us from winning the Shield. I don’t see him playing any other way. I want him to come and play well, so we’ll be up for the game too and we’ll see what happens.”
The match was close and nervy.
In Canada, a wild , match saw last year winners of both the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup rise up. Toronto FC took down Atlanta United 4-1, opening the door for the Red Bulls..
The whistle rung out in Red Bull Arena to a roar of supporters, fans, and players. The Red Bulls not only won the game, they took home the Shield.
“I’m thrilled inside,” said Armas after the match. “I don’t show much emotion, you know. I did a little bit on the field tonight, because it’s a culmination in the first part of it here. I’m so happy for the organization, and the players. They [The players] meet the demands every day what’s asked of them around here to show up. To be good people and to work hard, and to play the way we played.”
For the players, it meant a culmination of work through the season paying off.
For Aaron Long it meant giving something more back to the fans.
“It’s like, ‘how do we have such a great season and maybe possibly have nothing to show for it’ you know?” said Long. “If we win this game and we set the highest points minus Atlanta if they win tonight. It would have been terrible to have nothing to show for this amazing season. I mean yeah, God’s plan I guess, but just unbelievable feeling.”
For Derrick Etienne Jr, it’s about having the previous New York Red Bull II players make an impact on the first team.
“It means a lot,” said Etienne. “You look at a lot of these guys, a lot of academy guys, who look for this moment a lot. You have a lot of guys here who won USL Cup. I think you can see it means a lot to a lot of guys to be able to get this result and bring back the Supporters’ Shield. We know it’s not over.”
Now the Red Bulls must focus on the playoffs as they try to make history. Focus on the future, instead of lingering on the failings of the past.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography