The red and black striped armband has been a source of intrigue since it’s birth during the team’s encounter against Sporting KC two weeks ago. In a familiar vertical pattern, the color scheme caught the attention of many for weeks causing a murmur amongst the team’s hardcore supporters about it’s intended meaning. It was fully recognized after Henry pointed to the armband in front of the South Ward faithful during his one goal, three assist performance against Toronto FC.
Few know the inner workings of the Metrostars better than Red Bulls assistant coach Mike Petke, who told the Seeing Red! podcast the story behind the band.
“(Henry) came up to me a couple games before whenever he first wore it (and) said to me ‘Go talk to so and so (I won’t say his name) and ask him what I am wearing tonight,” Petke revealed. “I had no clue what he was talking about. So I went to him and I asked him and he said ‘I don’t know. He told me to put these colors’ and he showed it and immediately, immediately I knew what those colors were, obviously.
“It was kind of confusing to me as well because he really has no connection (to the Metrostars) but that’s the kind of guy he is,” he said. “He does his research.”
For Petke, it was an admirable nod to a time buried by the Red Bulls since the team’s takeover in 2006. “Being the connection I have with the Metrostars, it was one of those things you sit there and you think for a second and think ‘wow, that is pretty impressive.’
“I guess he just woke up that morning and said ‘You know what? I am going to pay homage to the history of this club.”
Due to his role with the team, Petke fell just short of fully acknowledging the Metrostars nod … but he came very close.
“The word ‘Metrostars’ never came out in the conversations between Thierry and myself or anything, but the way I am taking it in my mind is that those are the colors of the old Metrostars and I think that’s why he did it.”
That is probably a safe bet.