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The Red Bulls' Big Opportunity
North Jersey Herald, August 21st, 2007 4PM

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For the New York Red Bulls, David Beckham's first trip to Giants Stadium could only be construed as a huge success: nine goals, 90 minutes for Beckman (60 of which were quite good), and a win for the home team in front of a 65,000-plus crowd that was decidedly rooting for them. Ives Galarcep of the North Jersey Herald says that the big question hanging over the under-supported franchise is, well, "Now what?" How do you follow-up a well supported, 5-4 win against the league's biggest draw? Can the Red Bulls capitalize on this opportunity? Hopefully, New York-area soccer fans will realize that they now have a good team with some very good players who are actually worth watching.

Indeed, the erstwhile Metrostars were once one of the best-supported teams in MLS, but years of ineptitude caused many to turn their backs on the franchise. Galarcep believes that "those very fans made up a good-sized and vocal portion" of Saturday's large crowd. Of course there were Beckham-only fans and some who knew next to nothing about soccer, but Galarcep says you could tell by the crowd's reaction to the action on the field that most were - what many believe the New York-area has always had - true fans of the game. They came out for the bigness of the event, and the proof was in the tailgating and the barbequeing on the streets, where they wore their favorite soccer jerseys. "This one was it," he says, and now it's up to management to do a better job of supporting the team, as in spending some marketing dollars.

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