That's a pretty high number, considering the longstanding antagonism between the two founding MLS clubs, and it got us thinking about the most prominent members of that particular club.
Here's our take on the top five figures to take part in both sides of the Atlantic Cup, the league's oldest rivalry.
5. Mike Petke
They don't come much more “Metro” than Petke, a local kid who caught on with the MetroStars in 1998 and blossomed into one of the team's most consistent and beloved players in an era of constant upheaval. But the no-nonsense defender was shipped south along with a draft pick and an allocation slot in a blockbuster trade in 2002 that saw Jaime Moreno, Eddie Pope and Richie Williams head the other way. Petke quickly won over the skeptical United fans with his hard work and gregarious personality – and anchoring a 2004 MLS Cup title run helped, too. He would return to his hometown club to finish his career, and served as the Red Bulls' head coach from 2013-14.
4. Eddie Pope
An iconic US national team center back with three World Cups on his resume, Pope will always be remembered fondly in Washington for scoring the golden goal that won the inaugural MLS Cup for D.C. Everyone struggled to get their heads around the sight of him in a MetroStars jersey after Bob Bradley brought him to the Meadowlands via the aforementioned 2002 trade, one of Bradley's first moves as the Gotham side's head coach. He later helped Real Salt Lake begin life in MLS before hanging up his cleats for good.
3. Dax McCarty
The ginger midfielder was D.C.'s showcase acquisition in a rebuilding project ahead of the 2011 campaign; he was handed the Black-and-Red's revered No. 10 jersey, his face slapped on bus ads all over the capital city. So it was stunning when he was sent to the rival Red Bulls just four months later in exchange for playmaker Dwayne De Rosario. McCarty needed time to find his feet at Red Bull Arena, but now captains the side, an unrelenting motor in deep midfield. On the five-year anniversary of his trade last month, he tweeted out his thanks to RBNY for “rescuing” him from United.
The well-traveled Canadian international made his name with San Jose and won two MLS Cups with Houston. But he (arguably) reached his individual zenith in D.C.'s colors in 2011. “DeRo” had joined the Red Bulls the previous winter, seemingly the final piece in the puzzle built around Thierry Henry. But it was the sudden trade to United that sparked his own personal beast mode: He reeled off 13 goals and 7 assists in 17 games for D.C. (15/11 overall on the season), including a gobsmacking hat trick in nine minutes vs. Real Salt Lake on Sept. 25. United narrowly missed out on the playoffs, but voters found his credentials irresistible as he claimed MLS MVP honors.
1. Jaime Moreno
The name alone makes United supporters smile, and Metro/Red Bulls fans curse. “The Godfather of Goals” was already a D.C. legend when he was offloaded to New York in 2003, where chronic back problems limited him to two goals that year and seemingly spelled the end to his career. But surgery and a new training regimen earned him a second chance at United, and his resurrection was so dramatic – 51 goals, 47 assists, an MLS Cup and two Supporters' Shields over the next five seasons – that New York fans sardonically dubbed him “double agent.” His 134 career MLS goals were once the most in league history, and even now, only Landon Donovan has eclipsed that mark.
Here's the full list of players who've appeared for both D.C. and New York (not including Sam), in alphabetical order:
Jeff Agoos, Chris Albright, Mike Ammann, Brandon Barklage, Bobby Convey, Austin da Luz, Dwayne De Rosario, Francis Doe, Fabian Espindola, Ezra Hendrickson, Brian Kamler, Dema Kovalenko, Mark Lisi, Dax McCarty, Jaime Moreno, Jeff Parke, Mike Petke, Eddie Pope, Diego Sonora, Petter Villegas, Richie Williams, A.J. Wood, Henry Zambrano, Craig Ziadie