Slow news day? EoS is here to get your history on …
Whenever something goes wrong in the world of the “Metro Bulls,” you can count on a familiar term to rear it’s ugly head and explain the bad luck in one swooping phrase.
“It’s The Curse of Caricola.”
April 20, 1996:
New York welcomes Major League Soccer to the sporting landscape. The Metrostars are coming off of a 2-1 debut road loss against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Nevertheless, Tony Meola and the gang managed to attract 46,000 plus to Giants Stadium to witness the re-birth of professional soccer in the tri-state area. A throng of curious spectators took in 89 minutes of scoreless play when they unwittingly witnessed a historical moment of Bill Buckner-esque proportions.
There was no extra-time in this new league; all tied games ended in an NASL style shoot-out. With :15 seconds left on the clock, Italian defender Nicola Caricola knocked in what looked to be an attempted clearance past his keeper Tony Meola to gift the Revolution a victory (the intentions of the own goal are questionable to this day – no idea what was going on there).
And the curse was born.
As the story goes, that moment eternally damned the
New York/New Jersey Metrostars Red Bulls team to an existence of failure; a barren trophy case over 16 years stands as a testament to the lore (that is unless you count the Western Conference title, La Manga, Mickey Mouse and Emirates Cups!).
Fandom is rooted in history, folks. Get to know your roots; get to know Nicola Caricola and the curse.