Call him the first defector.
A former New York Red Bull fan and paying Supporters Club member has left no question where his allegiance lies, immortalizing his club affiliation with a New York City F.C. tattoo — the very first in club history.
“Why am I jumping ship?” the anonymous fan replies when asked about his move. “Born, raised and live in the city, I wear it like a badge of honor. Lifetime Yankee fan too. So when the announcement came, it just made sense and felt right.”
The tattoo was first published on the @NYCFC_SC twitter account, drawing its fair share of praise from the budding fanbase — and a hefty dose of critique throughout social media, particularly from Red Bull and New York Cosmos supporters. The reaction matters little to the former Red Bull supporter, who sees a brighter future ahead in blue.
“Being part of something from Day 1 was also a big pull for me,” he explained. “The Man City angle doesn’t bother me. I even support another EPL team. MLS learned it’s lesson with Chivas and I think that’s evidenced by how distinct the NYCFC badge is from Man City’s.”
For this fan, who once sang full voice for the Red Bulls, NYC FC represents a fresh start. From their front office signings to their community involvement, NYC FC has already gained this fan’s confidence in a way the Red Bulls never could.
“I think they’ll be focused more on quality of football than advancing a beverage brand,” he explains. “I’ve already seen more community involvement and marketing outreach [from NYC FC]. Always felt Red Bull took the fans & supporters for granted.
“Any fan of MLS knows the success rate of expansion teams and should also know throwing boatloads of money and buying DPs does not translate into immediate success. That’s why landing [Head Coach] Jason Kreis was such a big move.”
That, along with the unveiling of the club’s badge, sealed his future with the 20th MLS franchise.
“Once the badge came out, I was struck by the interlocking NYC,” he said. “It felt timeless to me — bigger than just a soccer team. In my opinion, it will become as synonymous with NY soccer as the interlocking NY of the Yankees is to baseball in the city and the US.
“Getting it inked is not just an homage to the club, but to my city.”
Regardless of some of the backlash for the tattoo (which has forced this fan to keep his anonymity), he won’t reciprocate the hate, nor does he expect others to follow in his footsteps.
“I don’t think many will actually jump from Red Bull to NYC,” he says. “The guys and gals that are there at the Arena singing for the full 90 are pretty passionate.
“I’ll never hate Red Bull. That’s not an emotion I can manufacture and I’ve had a lot of fun supporting the team from when I first started following in 2006,” he explains. “I’m excited by what lays ahead for NY soccer. Derby day will be amazing, albeit more so when NYCFC has a stadium of their own.
“I look forward to supporting NYCFC and hosting Red Bull fans when they make their way to the Bronx.”