Pele, Messi and World Cups: New York's (and New Jersey's) 14 iconic soccer moments
10. The late, late, late show
USA 2, Honduras 1 (2005)
Then U.S. national coach Bruce Arena did not have an opportunity to celebrate his team's 11th-hour goals in its incredible 2-1 comeback victory over Honduras July 21, 2005. Instead, he was forced to watch the final 31 minutes of the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal match on TV from the Jets locker room in the bowels of Giants Stadium by himself after he was banished for cursing on the sidelines.
The Americans staged a late rally for the ages, coming back from the brink of defeat to secure a 2-1 stoppage-time win over Honduras. John O'Brien equalized in the 86th minute before defender Oguchi Onyewu headed home Landon Donovan's 30-yard free kick two minutes into added time before 41,721 fans.
"Of course there was a sense of urgency," said Onyewu, who helped set up O'Brien's goal. "I don't think anyone wanted to play 30 extra minutes. Everyone was really tired at that point. Luckily, the game wasn't 45 minutes or 60 minutes."
Due to the dismissal, Arena was forced to watch the final two days later from an air-conditioned booth as assistant coach Glenn (Mooch) Myernick ran the show. The Panama game was anti-climactic. The rivals battled through 120 minutes of regulation and extra time of scoreless soccer before it was decided in a shootout, which the U.S. won, 3-1. Kasey Keller made one save and Brad Davis, who announced his retirement last week, converted the game-winning PK in his second international appearance.
9. Some Red Bull Arena futbol
New York Red Bulls 1, Chicago Fire 0 (2010)
After enduring a sorry 5-19-6 record in the final, dismal year at Giants Stadium, the Red Bulls were given new life with a home of their own in Harrison, N.J. No more playing third-class citizens. No more artificial turf. No more football lines; only futbol lines at Red Bull Arena.
They started their new season at their new stadium on the right foot, with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire on March 27, 2010, truly ushering in a new era.
"It's an unbelievable environment to play in," said popular defender Mike Petke, who later coached the team in that environment. "It's the way a sporting event should be. I'm hoping we'll keep winning and it continues like this."
By the end of the season, World Cup champion Thierry Henry and Mexican international Rafa Marquez, helping to further transform the squad from league sad sacks to a respected side. Since then, the Red Bulls have qualified for seven consecutive playoffs. Yet, they still haven't won the MLS' ultimate prize – the Philip F. Anschutz trophy – as MLS Cup winners.