The New York Red Bulls were originally known as the MetroStars when they were awarded one of the original ten Major League Soccer franchises. They immediately made headlines by signing U.S. internationals Tab Ramos and Tony Meola as well as A.C. Milan star Roberto Donadoni for their inaugural season.
Many expected the MetroStars to dominate in MLS’s inaugural season, but despite having a star-studded squad coached by an established figure in Eddie Firmani, the MetroStars finished third out of five in the Eastern Conference.
The following years would be mediocre at best with the only significant moment coming in 2000 when they stunned the world by signing legendary German international, Lothar Matthäus.
But in 2003, former Chicago Fire head coach Bob Bradley was hired and helped lead the team to a U.S. Open Cup Final in his first year. In his second year in charge, the MetroStars became the first MLS team to win a trophy outside of North America in the La Manga Cup.
It was in 2006 when the club would rebrand to the New York Red Bulls when the Austrian energy drink conglomerate purchased the Club. It was here where future U.S. international, Jozy Altidore, would first make his name as a teenager.
They made their first MLS Cup Final in 2008 but lost against MLS Supporter’s Shield winners, Columbus Crew. Two years after their loss, the Red Bulls once again made international waves by signing Arsenal, Barcelona, and France National Team icon, Thierry Henry and Barcelona and Mexican international, Rafael Márquez.
They clinched first place in the East for the first time since 2000 with the help of their new additions. The Red Bulls would win the Supporter’s Shield to finally win their first-ever trophy in history.
In 2015, the Red Bulls would clinch their second Supporter’s Shield under up-and-coming American Jesse Marsch and key players – Sacha Kljestan, Mike Grella, Matt Miazga, and Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Three years later, the Red Bulls would win their third Supporter’s Shield under Chris Armas, Marsch’s assistant coach who took over after his departure. But despite their success in MLS regular season, winning MLS Cup still eludes the historic Club.
Charlotte FC is all too familiar with the Red Bulls, as it was them who knocked the Crown out of the U.S. Open Cup not too long ago. The Red Bulls currently sit fourth in the East with six wins, five draws, and three losses. Their past three matches have been a mixed bag of results. They drew against the Chicago Fire, then lost against Inter Miami, and most recently thrashed D.C. United in a 4 – 1 win.
Patryk Klimala: The focal point up top for the Red Bulls, Klimala, proved how dangerous he can be against CLTFC scoring and assisting in the U.S. Open Cup. He’s a well-rounded striker with a strong work ethic that can hurt you in different ways.
Lewis Morgan: No one has contributed to more goals for the Red Bulls this season than the Scot. He’s a pacey winger/wingback that likes to patrol flanks but isn’t afraid to cut in and create scoring opportunities for himself.
John Tolkin: The 19-year-old American left-back is the latest standout in a long history of successful RBNY Academy products. He’s been a key player under head coach Gerhard Struber, locking down opponents on the left side and providing support in the attack.