HARRISON, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls are fully expecting Saturday’s clash (7 pm ET, watch on MLS Live) with the New England Revolution to be a difficult game, and also an emotional one.
Due to the tragic events that have transpired in the Boston area this week and the impact they have had on the nation, the Red Bulls are anticipating an emotionally charged match at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. But New York are also planning on showing support to the Revolution and a Boston area reeling from this week’s catastrophe.
“It’s very reminiscent of 9/11 in the sense that 9/11 everybody was a New Yorker and now that this happened everybody is from Boston,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told reporters on Friday. “I expect that when they come here and the starting lineups are announced and they’re on the field, that we’re going to give them a nice round of applause.
“I’m not stupid enough to think that once the whistle blows that we’re going to be applauding [the Revolution]. … But before the game, I expect a lot of classy gestures from our supporters and our team.”
The Red Bulls announced on their website on Friday morning that they would be honoring Boston and its victims in a number of ways on Saturday, including replacing the MLS theme with The Standells' classic Boston-themed song, "Dirty Water," when the players enter the arena.
The club plans on having a moment of reflection prior to the national anthem; the Red Bull Arena Color Guard will fly the Boston flag as part of the match procession; and New York’s South Ward supporters will march into the stadium with some of New England’s traveling fans with the "NEW YORK STANDS WITH BOSTON" banner that debuted in the Red Bulls’ 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City this past Wednesday.
In addition, the two clubs' supporters groups have revealed they will do their traditional march into the match in unison.
“I don’t actually know what they’re going through in terms of feeling but all I can say is our thoughts are with them,” Thierry Henry told reporters. “It’s going to be emotional. Just have to stick together and pray for everyone in Boston.”