As part of this year's Hockey Road Trip, we went to, um, a soccer game. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is to blame. If there was no lockout this season, the road trip would have taken place in St. Louis and Nashville. Instead, this year's road trip consisted of only one hockey game, but we added a New York Red Bulls-New England Revolution MLS game. Time for some notes about the experience.
- The game took place at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. This is the first arena I attended without a roof making this an odd name choice. I was about to go dictionary on you by stating that an arena needs a roof, but the actual definition of arena is "a central stage, ring, area, or the like, used for sports or other forms of entertainment, surrounded by seats for spectators." Roof is not part of a definition. Stupid dictionary getting in the way of my logic.
- The New York Red Bulls do not allow you to bring drinks into the arena. It seems like you should bring in Red Bull. Of course, they sell Red Bull in the arena, so of course you can't bring it inside.
- Thierry Henry, the former Arsenal and French National team player may not be the superstar he used to be, but he is still a big name and can still play. He is also making more than $4.3 million to bring his talents to Harrison, New Jersey. Random question: does Henry live in New York City and have to commute to Jersey for work or does he live in New Jersey?
- The Red Bulls have a player named Jonny Steele. What an awesome name, even if it’s not real. I’m sure his name is actually Jonathan Schwartz.
- The field is beautiful. I’m being completely serious too. You could probably eat off the grass.
- There were no beer men at this game or the Rangers-Devils game. Are beer men becoming extinct?
- The game took place less than a week after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. I didn’t see it, but the New England Revolution fans walked in the stadium together with Red Bulls fans. Seems like it was a nice and moving experience.
- Despite the unity, the Revolution fan club had their own section with added security to make sure no shenanigans took place. How cute that people thought this was a European match.
- As for the match, there were 3 goals in the first 8 minutes of the game. I was completely expecting the teams to keep up the pace meaning a 17-16 final.
- Has anyone watched a MLS game this season? After a foul close to the goal, the referee immediately stepped off 10 yards and brought out what appeared to be shaving cream to make a line for defenders to stand behind. I have never seen this before, and I can’t say that I’m a fan. (Although as a ref, it might be cool to spray the shaving cream in the air at the same time I blow the whistle to end the game.) Have refs done this all season?
- The Red Bulls fans were surprisingly passionate. There was an extremely vocal Viking Army that sang and chanted all game. Very impressive.
- Video time. The highlight of the halftime show was this little kid scoring multiple goals. Start at around the 4 minute mark and stay through the shaky camera.
- Henry clearly got tripped by the goalie in the penalty box, but a foul was not called. The fact that the assistant referee went into position for a penalty shot means that he thought it was a foul too.
This is all the highlights of the game thanks to MLS.
The Boston Globe and NY Red Bulls website have more on the game.