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Empty seats: 15,619 fans at Red Bulls game

Big Apple Soccer asks a simple question about Saturday’s Philadelphia Union – Red Bulls match: Where was everyone?

Only 15,619 people turned out for the match, a disappointing turnout for the new rivalry. Numerous Union fans made the trip, but obviously New York’s horrid 2009 season still lingers in people’s minds. Also, Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said he thought only a few hundred Union fans made the trip, whereas he was expecting 5,000.

(I’d have gone if it was a Saturday night game. Saturday afternoon? Sorry, I was playing soccer. A few other PSP contributors went though. Sorry. Pet peeve here. Moving on.)

We’ll see how many are going to Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup rematch, for which Backe said he may rest some regulars.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald has an interesting view: Red Bulls – Union isn’t a rivalry yet.  Fair point, but you don’t need on-field acrimony between teams for a rivalry. The Giants defensive linemen usually had great respect for Donovan McNabb (even if some Eagles fans didn’t). It doesn’t change the fact that New York – Philly is a rivalry no matter what.

Here are some post-game recaps, besides ours:

Philadelphia Daily News


Associated Press

New York Daily News

American Herculez Gomez finished the Mexican Clausura season tied for the league lead in goals with 10. He’s the first American ever to lead the league in scoring.

Check out this Goal.com poll.  Apparently their readers want Freddy Adu to go to the World Cup instead of Gomez or Edson Buddle. (Not that any of them are guaranteed, but I’m not sure how you take Adu over Gomez.)

MLSSoccer.com has recaps and video highlights of each MLS game from last week, including Toronto FC’s surprise 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders.

Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy has his typically good look back the weekend MLS action.


  1. the union needs to be better about helping organize to get fans to these regional away games. there were probably 500 or so who made it up anyway.

    that said, the red bulls fan’s showing was pathetic. union has practically sold as many season tickets without having played at ppl yet as the red bulls could muster for this game on a beautiful day against a regional rival. i doubt there were even 15,000 there as they say. that place looked vacant.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I agree with Nick that 15,000 seems a generous number. 15k+ doesn’t look bad when your stadium holds 18,500 but when it holds 25k things look pretty bleak.

      From my vantage point, I thought there were more than 500 Union fans. Whatever the number, it’s a breeze to get to the stadium and I look forward to going back next year with many more Union supporters.

      Nick is also right that the Union could do a better job helping organize travel. I got my tickets through the Red Bulls right after the home opener. I think I got an email from the Union on Wednesday saying that a section (in addition to the Sons of Ben section) had been set aside for Union supporters. They really need to better promote such information.

  2. Mike Servedio says:

    I thought it was kind of weird that the Union supporters were behind the goal that New York was shooting at in the 2nd half. When Angel scored the game winner, he was booed by a large part of the fans on that side of the stadium. It was always my understanding that the away fans were behind the goal their team was shooting at in the 2nd half. Though I suppose the concept of away fans is still new for many MLS teams and stadiums.

    I too must credit the class of all of the travelling support on Saturday. I was sitting just beneath where the SoBs were. And while they were in full voice for much of the match, there was not a single incident to report of anyone getting out of hand. All of the travelling supporters were behind the Union and in all the right ways.

  3. And Ed, you’re so right about the drive to the stadium from Philly. What a breeze. I was pleasantly surprised. I raced out of PSC after our Casa game at 1 and braced myself for horrific traffic and worse parking. I found neither. It took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes and there was a very accessible lot 1 block away. The stadium itself reminded me of a poor man’s Allianz- not a bad seat in the house. We were in Row 17, Section 226 and I couldn’t ask for a better view…

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