More than 200 supporters came out to get their Red Bull jerseys, soccer balls and other gear signed by the squad in a team meet and greet with supporters yesterday at the Adidas Sport Performance Store in SoHo.
While MLS leading scorer and team captain Thierry Henry was the most sought after signature of the night, fans were also eager to meet other favorites from the squad including Dax McCarty, Jan Gunnar Solli and Mehdi Ballouchy.
“I love the New York Red Bulls”, said Victor Borges of Norwalk, CT, while he was waiting on line to meet the team. He said his favorite players were Henry and Mehdi Ballouchy but that he also has a soft spot for Dax McCarty because they both have red hair.
And it wasn’t just the veterans on the team who were big hits with the fans.
Defender Connor Lade, a rookie out of St. John’s University was surprised to see that one fan brought a picture of Lade from his St. John’s playing days, which Lade signed. “I wasn’t expecting that,” Lade said. “That was cool.”
Eric Yang, a Red Bulls supporter from Washington D.C. had just arrived in New York yesterday afternoon but came out for his only chance to catch the team while he’s in town. Yang said he was pleased with the team’s performance so far this season.
“Henry and Cooper are doing well; they’re gelling,” Yang said. “The future looks bright.”
While he will not be in town long enough to catch a game at Red Bull Arena, Yang said he was planning on making it out to the away game in D.C. this Sunday.
The passion and dedication of the Red Bulls fan base, which supports the team both at home and on the road was not lost on the players who said they enjoyed the chance to meet the fans who support the team week in and week out.
“This is awesome,” goalkeeper Ryan Meara said. “We get great fan support. At all the home games they turn out, so anytime we can come out and do something in return for them, I really enjoy it.”
“It’s a really cool event,” Lade said. “We love being part of all the people coming and supporting us. It’s nice that we can give back to them and have a really good time doing it.”
Make sure to check out more photos from the event on the official New York Red Bulls Facebook page.