NewYorkRedBulls.com Correspondent Craig Hutchinson continues his regular column on RedBullsReader.com today with a look at this past weekend in the world of soccer, looks ahead to the Red Bulls’ USOC match, and provides his thoughts on PPL Park .  If you have a question or comment for Craig, share your thoughts in the comments section.

Saturday was not a great day for most US soccer fans. I was one of the thousand or so who packed into Red Bull Arena Saturday afternoon to cheer on the US national team (yes, as an Englishman I was heavily rooting for the US and no, I don’t want to discuss the England/Germany game). Well done to those fans that packed into the Arena and made for a fantastic atmosphere, in fact so many fans showed up that the Skybox bars had to be opened up to accommodate those who could no longer fit into the Bulls’ Corner. Thanks should also go to Carl Robinson and Dane Richards who came in to provide their insight and analysis at halftime for everyone, I sat next to Carl for most of the match and it was great to get some extra thoughts on the game from a man who has 52 international caps to his name. Red Bulls fans might not have seen too much of him on the field since his arrival, but he is one the team’s nicest and funniest guys off the field (despite being Welsh, j/k). Alas, we all know how the game panned out and it was not joyous, but at least Red Bulls fans had something to smile about by the end of the day!

Another shame about the US loss is that attendance at the Red Bulls viewing party in Nevada Smiths was pretty low as a result; a bigger shame as it coincided with a fundraiser where fans could get a two hour open bar for $35 with a cut of the money going to the Friends of Joe Vide. Those fans that were in attendance not only seemed to get their money’s worth of drink, but also entertainment in the form of a 3-0 victory for New York, the team’s largest road victory in five years.

The fans, players and coaching staff may have varying opinions of the merits of the number of international friendlies the team has hosted this season, but last Friday’s game against Cruzeiro looked to be a masterstroke as New York were able to play with a tempo that may have been lacking if this has been their first game in three weeks. Ream, Stammler and Borman had very good games, as did Bouna, who not only showed off his athleticism between the posts, but also weighed in with two assists! Of course, JPA got most of the plaudits (including MLS Player of the Week) and deservedly so after his two goal performance. With the senior squad claiming their third league win in a row, let’s see if the “Baby Bulls” can make it four Cup wins in a row against Harrisburg and old friend Danny Cepero.

Another headlining event in MLS this week came from down I-95 as Philadelphia opened their new home, PPL Park. Despite Philly being our new rivals and all, it is good for the league when a team has its own stadium and sells it out, and I was going to wish them well with it. Then I read some comments by their front office in which they couldn’t just talk about their nice new stadium, they had to try and drag down Red Bull Arena at the same time. “This stadium will be a much more unified experience for the fan than Red Bull Arena,” Union president Tom Veit said. “I think here, the fan will really feel part of things.”

Seriously? Was there any need for that? Are you sure you didn’t mean to say “the Red Bulls built a bigger, aesthetically more beautiful and all around better stadium than us so we’ll take silly pot shots at it so we don’t feel quite so inferior?” Yes, you do have a nice view of a bridge, but can you please insightfully break down exactly what other part of your stadium is better than ours?

In case it’s not on your schedule already, the Red Bulls travel down to PPL Park on October 16th. When we get down there I’m sure we can confirm three things; our team is better than yours, our stadium is infinitely better and we have the best fans in the league that will out sing your ‘Daughters of Ben’ even when out numbered. Bring it on!

Until next time…I’m Craig Hutchinson.

Craig hails from the town of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, England and gained a BA honors degree in Sports Studies and Physical Education at the University of York St. John, North Yorkshire, England. After graduation, he worked for five years as a professional youth soccer coach throughout the United States. He joined the New York Red Bulls in 2008 as a coach in the youth Training Programs and Regional Development Schools. He became the team’s video broadcaster at the beginning of the 2010 season.


  1. Darwin Says:

    Why such a sad face on the photo Craig? lol

  2. Vince Says:

    Craig – I like your writing, I just wish that every time I looked at you I didn’t want to punch you in the face so much.

  3. That_Guy_in_114 Says:

    Craig, Ignore Vince….there’s always one….
    Great commentary, and sorry that the Brits and Colonials lost this week, it was rough for all of us.

    That said…looking forward to some time back at the Arena, cheering our boys on.

    Cheers from 114

  4. Philly Red Bull Says:

    I agree with Vince…. 😉

  5. Alex Says:

    Lol you guys are mean. he looks like a nice guy.

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