On Thursday, members of the New York Red Bulls got a chance play a six-on-six game on the flight deck of the USS Intrepid against the crew of the USS Roosevelt, stationed in town for New York Fleet Week 2009. Originally built to serve during WWII, the Navy decommissioned the Intrepid in 1974. It is now the foundation of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City.
"I'm sure that, especially for the Americans on our team, this is a fantastic opportunity to feel very proud to see the magnitude of this ship, and the history behind it," Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. "And for all of us foreigners, it's a chance to know more about the history of this wonderful country. It's also an opportunity for all the guys to enjoy themselves here in a different environment, rather than training."
The Navy team, led by Petty Officer Migual Tater, was not intimidated by its major-league opponents. The teams didn't keep score, but in one scrimmage the Navy team registered the first goal. They have plenty of experience playing on the pock-marked and rutted flight-deck surface of their own ship. "When the ship is in port, we play quite often -- as much as we can -- especially when we're not getting ready for an inspection," said Tater, who has been playing since he was a child growing up in Jamaica. "If we're out to sea, sometimes we'll have some free time on the flight deck and just kick around a bit. It's a lot of fun."