Bradley Wright-Phillips
AP Photo

The New York Red Bulls enter the 2019 MLS season with the burdensome task of winning over the fanbase yet again.

There’s nothing worse than when your own loved one despises you.

The New York Red Bulls are forced to endure that pain. The team was knocked out of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League by Club Santos Laguna after losing to them 6-2 on aggregate on Tuesday night.

What made this elimination so hard to swallow for the Red Bull fans is two-fold:

  1. NYRB missed out on another major trophy.
  2. The club impressively tied the series 2-2 in the first nine minutes of the match, which gave their supporters hope. But later in the 72nd minute, they gave up four goals in nine minutes.

It was one of the most embarrassing eliminations in The Metros’ history or of any MLS teams.

The New York fans are not only discouraged, but they also can’t help to regard their team with contempt.

Chris Armas’s men loss to Santos after giving their fans hope by drawing the series 2-2 reflects the past eight years of the club’s existence.

The Jersey-based team won the Supporters’ Shield Cup three times and the Eastern Conference regular-season title five times since 2010. Those achievements gave the New York supporters the faith that their team was on their way to their first major silverware but that never happened, even after clinching the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Last year was the most throbbing false-hope of an MLS Cup the NYRB fans suffered. The 2018 MLS Cup had New York written all over it. The club notched the most points in the history of the MLS, 71. The Red Bull players played a sensational regular season, to say the least.

But they fell to eventual champion Atlanta United 3-1 on aggregate. That surely added some weight to the large snowball of hunger to win a major trophy after so many disappointments. The Metros’ next chance to bounce back was in the Champions League, then Tuesday’s game happened.

It surely is agonizing to be a Red Bull fans now—or for the past eight years. The club has the challenging task of gaining their fans’ love back. Interestingly enough New York will play their MLS home opener on Saturday at 3:50 p.m. ET against San Jose Earthquakes at the Red Bull Arena.

One league victory against a team that lost their first two games of the season won’t make up for Tuesday’s embarrassing CL exit. However, a loss will, without a doubt, make things much worse.

What will make up for Tuesday or for the past eight years is a major silverware this season—yes this season. The long-going road to a major trophy resumes on Saturday versus the Earthquakes. A win after the loss against Santos will be a major mini step to the MLS Cup.

The MLS Cup isn’t the only trophy RBNY will be fighting for this season. The team will also compete in the U.S. Open. The Supporters’ Shield champions will kick off their Open Cup campaign on Jun. 12.

Needless to say, the red side of New York has to hoist one of these two trophies this year to revive their fans. The team’s resiliency has been inspiring but that’s not something a fan will always be proud to brag about.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.