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2013 MLS Beer-view: New York Red Bulls

Editor's Note: The 2013 Major League Soccer season is underway! You've read your season predictions, team-by-team capsules, and all sorts of talk on the state of American soccer. Season eighteen is an important benchmark as it passes the seventeen that the last attempt at professional soccer, the North American Soccer League (version 1.0), in the U.S. survived for.

And while you might be celebrating your side's first victory or scratching your head over their first lost… there's one thing that's been missing from all these early MLS musings… beer.

By Mark Fishkin /  Red Bulls season ticket holder since 1996, and the creator and co-host of the Seeing Red podcast ( He also had WAY too much craft beer in Portland last weekend.

Hello Red Bulls fans.  If you’re reading this, just like me you’re back for another Don Quixote-like quest for New York hardware in 2013.  Of course, you know New York is zero for forever across all competitions, but there are quite a few reasons that this will be the year that the boys from Harrison, NJ make the right kind of noise.

Reason #1: Mike Petke
Much has been written about the 13th manager in the 18-year history of the club.  Mike is the most earnest manager the MetroBulls have had to date.  A legend among the fans, Petke is the embodiment of the franchise and all he was to do is win.  As the club’s Scandinavian dalliance fades in the rear-view, Mike’s focus on hard work, a stalwart defense, and creative freedom for the attacking players may just be the recipe for success.

Reason #2: New Blood
On a team with a revolving-door roster policy (see: Dwayne DeRosario, 2011), the players brought in this off-season should stick around for awhile.  Fabian Espindola provides the slashing, speedy runs that the club missed in 2012, and his 2 tallies at Jeld-Wen this past Sunday may make fans forget Kenny Cooper before too long.  Despite Jamison Olave’s tough night, the 6’3”Colombian is no attacking player’s idea of a good time.  Yes, he stood statue-like as Diego Valeri swept by him with a flourish on Sunday, but a solid pairing with Pearce or Holgersson should develop nicely.  Juninho provides New York with a threat to score on any free kick, sparing Red Bulls fans of bad dreams of Roy Miller spraying balls into the 20th row.

Reason #3: Believing in America
Much has been made of Salzburg’s disdain for the young American player in MLS since purchasing the club in 2006.  However, Red Bull Global Director of Soccer Gerard Houllier and RBNY Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh have made signing Americans a priority in 2013.  Dax McCarty, Brandon Barklage, Connor Lade all won new contracts this offseason. Add late arrival Eric Alexander to Luis Robles, a recovering Ryan Meara, and veteran Heath Pearce and you’ve got a core of American players that will help the club go places.

Reason #4: DPs
Thierry Henry has scored 31 goals in 63 regular season appearances for New York to date.  Guy’s the real deal, and despite is scowling and gesticulating, TH14 wants to win, badly.  Really, badly.  If Henry’s engaged & plugged in, the ball will be in the back of the net often in 2013.  Tim Cahill has yet to click in New York, but if the man from Oz can get his head on a few Juninho free kicks, RBNY is going to be unstoppable up front.  Then of course is the third DP that’s rumored to head to Harrison this summer.  Will it be Kaka?  Ronaldinho?  The great thing about Red Bulls is that no one is too expensive for the club’s Austrian overloads.

Beer Selection: Hearland Brewery “Empire Premium” Pilsner

As a nod to RBNY’s oldest supporters club, I’m going with the NYC-based Heartland Brewery’s EMPIRE PREMIUM.  A Pils, this light, golden brew has a hoppy, grassy finish, and it’s perfect for the PATH train from midtown Manhattan to Harrison’s Red Bull Arena.  Just remember to bag it up on the train!


Tags: Beer, Major League Soccer, The Best of Both Worlds

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