It seems like Kelly Ripa is everywhere these days. The co-host of “Live With Regis and Kelly” on ABC regularly graces magazine covers and seems to pop-up at least once during every commercial break on television. And now, she seemingly has a new role – as the Jack Nicholson of the New York Red Bulls.
Nicholson, the famed Hollywood actor, is a permanent presence courtside at LA Lakers games. Ripa is slowly becoming that celebrity staple for the Red Bulls.
Present for the Barclays New York Challenge game between the Red Bulls and EPL side Manchester City, Ripa is gung-ho for the Red Bulls and her new and evolving role as the team’s most famous fan.
But does she want to be New York's version of Nicholson?
“Oh my – can we make that happen?” Ripa told MLSsoccer.com. “I do love soccer and I love coming out to the games here. I’m totally up for that.”
This is now Ripa’s second trip to Red Bull Arena in as many months, as she brought her family to Harrison in June to watch New York beat Seria A giants Juventus 3-1 in a friendly. Sunday, she saw the Red Bulls beat Manchester City 2-1 and walked away impressed.
“They played well, they played very well,” Ripa said. “It is obvious that they’re a good team and they’re doing well going against these European teams.”
Ripa, who calls herself a “soccer wife,” credits her love for soccer and coming out to MLS games to her husband Mark Consuelos. A television and movie actor himself, Consuelos is also on the board of the Kicking and Screening Soccer Film Festival and said he has been a soccer fan for a long time.
“The sport is really taking off here – it’s exciting to see it happen,” said Consuelos, who admitted he immersed himself in this summer’s World Cup. “You see it in the Red Bulls, in the league with bringing in the big name players. I think you saw it in the World Cup. The sport is growing.”
This past spring, the entire family went to Manchester City to watch the English side play a regular season fixture. Consuelos raved about the atmosphere and standard of play.
“It’s just so much fun to watch the players at that high level,” Consuelos said. “And the atmosphere – it is special.”
Ripa, who last month told her national television audience that she was at Red Bull Arena, raved on Sunday about the new stadium.
“It’s great. We love it – we love coming here,” Ripa said.
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs. He can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012