NEW YORK — MLS All-Star nightlife kicked off in earnest Sunday night with a party in the shadow of the Empire State Building at Legends on 33rd Street in Manhattan.
Hosted by the Empire Supporters Club, Red Bull New York’s most-tenured supporters club, the event featured New York defender Jan Gunnar Solli playing the role of DJ with fellow Red Bull Stephen Keel manning the bar.
Not just an excuse to celebrate Wednesday’s match between the MLS All-Stars and Manchester United (8:30 pm ET; ESPN2/TeleFutura/TSN), Sunday’s event was also a party with a purpose as it served as a fundraiser for Just One Soccer Club in Newark, N.J.
"They run a league that gives soccer opportunities to disadvantaged kids and gets them outside to do some exercise in a structured environment,” ESC board member Corey Vezina said about the club.
In addition to the Red Bull supporters in attendance, the room was packed with swarms of red-clad Manchester United fans. For Red Devils fan Martin Penny, the chance to meet United greats Bryan Robson, Paddy Crerand and treble winner Andy Cole—who were all on-hand—was just too good to pass up.
“I came out from Long Island just for this, and I’m glad I did,” Penny said. “How often do you get the chance to get your photo with Andy Cole and the EPL trophy?”
The fans weren’t the only ones having a great time at the well-known New York soccer bar.
“It’s great having all the Red Bull guys in and they seem to be enjoying themselves as much as the fans to be honest," said Legends’ Robbie Kennerney.
But even though the ESC event is over, the party will roll on at Legends all throughout All-Star week.
“We get a lot of tourists in, based on our location, and we’re starting to see people come in who’ve come to town just for the game," Kennerey said. "We’re a haven for football fans this week.”
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