The History of Red Bulls Home Openers

Dating back to 1996, the Red Bulls hold a 10-3-3 record in home openers. Additionally, they've posted an undefeated record of 5-0-3 since 2004. 

In this trip back through history, we take a look back at each match. Here's how things shaped up since the League's inception:

March 19, 2011

Last season the Red Bulls defeated the Seattle Sounders 1-0 in what was a memorable evening for Juan Agudelo, who scored his first career MLS goal from a Teemu Tainio assist in the 70th minute. Unfortunately, Agudelo will not have the chance to repeat a home-opener goal, as he is on international duty with the United States U-23 National Team. The match against Seattle was also special, as it was the official debut for Teemu Tainio and Jan Gunnar Solli.
Final: 1-0 NY

March 27, 2010

In 2010, the Red Bulls defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 on their first-ever home match at the newly-constructed Red Bull Arena thanks to a first-half Joel Lindpere goal. That goal came just days after Lindpere scored the first ever goal scored at Red Bull Arena against Santos FC (Brazil), forever remembered in the form of the lone red seat in the South Ward.
Final: 1-0 NY

Home Openers
By the Numbers
(1996 - present)

















March 28, 2009

Jay Heaps’ 35th minute own goal looked like enough for a Red Bull victory until Abdoulie Mansally notched a goal in added time. The 1-1 finish against New England may not have ended with a 'W' for the Red Bulls, but from from 2004 to 2008, the team maintained a solid home-opening record.
Final: 1-1 Draw

April 5, 2008

Dutchman Dave van den Bergh’s 25-yard drive past a young Will Hesmer gave New York a 1-0 lead just 47 seconds into the match against the Columbus Crew. Seven minutes later, van den Bergh was involved in New York’s second goal when he swung a corner to the far post for a lurching Juan Pablo Angel, who back heeled across goal for Kevin Goldthwaite to tap in from close range. After eight minutes of play, New York went up 2-0, and that’s how the contest finished.
Final: 1-0 NY

April 15, 2007 

In a torrential downpour, Clint Mathis scored one goal and had an assist in New York’s 3-0 demolition of FC Dallas. The first goal came from Mathis to Jozy Altidore, who was able to head past the veteran keeper Shaka Hislop (now a superstar on ESPN’s PressPass). Again, van den Bergh popped up on the score sheet when his 18-yard, top-of-the-box strike assured New York the three points.

Final: 3-0 NY

April 8, 2006

In front of over 36,000 fans, the Red Bulls battled the New England Revolution to a back-and-forth, high-tempo 0-0 draw. The night was not short of special guests as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Shakira and Wyclef Jean were in attendance for the event. The Red Bulls starting eleven that evening featured the likes of goalkeeper Tony Meola, Marvell Wynne, French international Youri Djorkaeff and Edson Buddle.
Final: 0-0 Draw

April 2, 2005
On another rainy and windy evening, RSL goalkeeper D.J. Countess made two crucial saves in the last home opener at Giants Stadium, for the match to end 0-0.
Final: 0-0 Draw

April 17, 2004
This match reflected the same result as 2000 in another exciting encounter against D.C. United. All of New York's goals came in the second half. Fabian Taylor's brace and a goal from John Wolyniec got the better of Ben Olsen, D.C. United's current coach, and Freddy Adu on the evening.
Final: 3-2 NY

April 12, 2003
New York home openers have featured a few last-minute goals, and unfortunately in 2003, the prolific goalscorer Jeff Cunningham notched a last-minute tally for Columbus from a Frankie Hejduk assist on Bob Bradley's debut as New York's head coach.
Final: 1-0 CLB

April 7, 2001 and March 23, 2002
New England were the guests again in 2001, and a last-gasp 92nd minute winner from Adolfo Valencia gave New York all three points on a chilly Saturday night in East Rutherford. The next season's home opener would be a case of deja vu, as the result repeated the 1997 final: New York 3-1 New England Revolution.
Final (2002): 3-1 NY
Final (2001): 2-1 NY


April 1, 2000
Over a year after scoring the only goal in the Columbus home opener, Current Individual Development Coach for the first team, defender Mike Petke scored another crucial home-opener goal in overtime against D.C. United.
Final: 3-2 NY


March 28, 1999
Petke scored a late header off a sublime free kick from a Miles Joseph cross to defeat the Columbus Crew 1-0.
Final: 1-0 NY

April 11, 1998
A 21-year-old rookie striker from Conyers, Ga. named Clint Mathis (may sound familiar), scored the game-winning goal for the LA Galaxy from a Cobi Jones assist in front of 30,000-plus New York supporters. Mathis would later go on to join New York and establish himself with the club by 39 goals over 93 appearances.
Final: 3-2 NY

April 20, 1996 and April 12, 1997 vs. New England
The very first home opener did not go New York's way as the rival New England Revolution escaped Giants stadium with a narrow 1-0 win. However, the next season New York avenged the inaugural season, home-opening loss by defeating New England 3-1 thanks to a Giovanni Savarese brace.
Final: (1997): 3-1 NY
Final: (1996): 1-0 NE


Preview: Colorado

March 25, 2012?

The Red Bulls will look to turn things around from an early-season 0-2 start Sunday when they host the Colorado Rapids at 4pm ET on ESPN/ESPN Deportes. The team has emphasized the importance of turning Red Bull Arena into a fortress this season and will look to do just that in the 2012 home opener.

In the 16 home openers leading up to this Sunday, New York played New England six times. New York has never played Colorado in a home opener.

Do You Remember...
Do you remember being at any or all of these matches? Comment below with your favorite home-opener memories.