Reyna display a slight to Red Bulls fans


Claudio Reyna calmly placed the ball on the artificial turf where the penalty spot was and readied himself for a chance to score a goal. After a brief interruption from an opponent, Reyna confidently strided up to the ball and blasted it past the goalkeeper, drawing applause from the New York fans who ringed the venue.

No, this didn’t take place at Giants Stadium. This took place at Nike Field in Chinatown at a charity game. The opponent who interrupted Reyna’s kick was a joking Thierry Henry, who drew a yellow card that made many of the fans in attendance laugh.

Red Bulls fans weren’t laughing at all. Not at the news that Reyna, the same player who has played in just six of the team’s 13 matches this year, was able to play in a soccer game despite being too injured to join his team on its current West Coast swing, or play in any of the team’s past five matches.

For many Red Bulls fans, it was the ultimate insult and the last straw.

That Reyna played in the event, which was played to help raise funds for Reyna’s and NBA star Steve Nash’s charitable foundations, wasn’t that big an offense. Playing in that half-speed match can’t compare in any way with the physical demands of playing in an MLS match. The problem was the symbolism of his participation, and the perception that he cared more about playing in a celebrity pick-up game than being with the team that actually pays him is what turned it into a crime in the eyes of Red Bulls fans. The fact that injured Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel attended but didn’t play in the match only made Reyna’s participation look that much worse.

Do I think it was a crime? Playing in the game itself wasn’t that bad. Where Reyna failed miserably is in communicating with the public about the charity event beforehand. Instead of failing to talk about the possibility of playing (he decline interview requests last week), Reyna should have been out front talking about the charity event and about his potential participation in the match. It would have given Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio a chance to state whether or not he thought Reyna playing in the match was risky or even acceptable. The news might have been met with snickers and objections, but not nearly the reaction elicited when Red Bulls fans had to find out after the fact that Reyna played the entire charity game.

That isn’t what happened though. Not only did Reyna not spread the word beforehand about his potential participation in the match, the Red Bulls had hardly any involvement in the charity event and sources tell me that the club scrambled to get involved in some capacity the day before the match.

Reyna discussed his participation after the match and pointed out that he was close to coming back to action with the Red Bulls, and that his participation in Wednesday’s match could only help his progress, but that explanation rang hollow coming after the event rather than before it.

What happens next? It is safe to say that if Reyna doesn’t play for the Red Bulls very soon there will be even more questions raised about him playing in Wednesday’s charity game and even more venom from Red Bulls fans who will have every right to feel slighted.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls. Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Reyna display a slight to Red Bulls fans

  1. Drew says:

    c’mon Ives…he’s just playing in a retirement league. Why should he be expected to work harder than Lothar Matteus? He’s an American soccer legend! He deserves the big paycheck retirement league treatment!

    …calm down folks…that’s called sarcasm…

  2. JSquaredNY says:

    At this point I’m not giving Reyna the benefit of the doubt that he is close to coming back and that this helped his progress. If that really was the case I think that he should have spoken about that before actually playing and not have been ignoring the media out of embarrassment that he gets paid to contribute NOTHING to the team. And yes I am also sick of hearing about how he does the “little things”

  3. Matt says:

    I have really had it with this guy. He takes up a DP spot for that which we need most: a CAM. I don’t care if he told someone his back hurt last night during the game: he has lost my respect and I am certain the respect of many others. If he could play in this charity event last night, why couldn’t he test his back in a meaningless friendly against Chivas in AZ. with his actual club? So he was able to do one thing he has never done in a RBNY kit: score a goal. All kidding aside, I’m tired of this guy manipulating the team. I would question the veracity of anything he says at this point, except he’s avoiding the media. I believe it when JPA is not playing, and shuts it down completely to get back with the team, and I see his passion on the field the vast majority of the time. I cannot say the same for our “captain.”

  4. kahlva says:

    I think this shows, ultimately, what Red Bull NY has been lacking for a while – a savvy PR person who knows soccer. Communication between Red Bull and the NY region (the fans, the media) is terrible. And in the wold’s biggest media market, that’s criminal.

    If they had such a person, I bet they could have guided Reyna to do and say the right things.

  5. Smith says:

    Reyna is a has been. Let him keep palying in charity matches. I’d rather take my chances the rest of the year with DVDB or Ubi at A-mid. At least they hustle. Reyna is a waste of salary cap.

  6. kahlva says:

    I think this shows, ultimately, what Red Bull NY has been lacking for a while – a savvy PR person who knows soccer. Communication between Red Bull and the NY region (the fans, the media) is terrible. And in the wold’s biggest media market, that’s criminal.

    If they had such a person, I bet they could have guided Reyna to do and say the right things.

  7. Betinho says:

    You are right Ives. Lack of communication is the crime here. That’s it. I think the uninformed over reaction of Red Bulls fans, rushing to to a hasty judgement, is really misplaced frustration stemming from following such a pathetically run organization, further evidenced by the fact they knew nothing about this event until the day before. I’m in florida and I’ve know about this for at least a week. That’s rediculous in itself. Yes, Claudo played his cards poorly by not communicating but everyone rushing to judgement is guilty of the same thing. Get more information before condeming someone. Sheesh…

  8. Betinho says:

    Kahlva – Bingo, spot on, there you go, that’s the answer. What I was trying to say. You nailed it!

  9. Aguinaga says:

    Thanks for the frankness Ives. Standing there watching the game, I definitely questioned how come Angel was gracious enough to tell me he thinks he needs another 1-2 weeks, and then promptly went to sit down and watch, but how come Reyna couldn’t do the same. The difference in professionalism was obvious to anyone who knew both players were injured. Granted it was partially Reyna’s charity match event to host, but damn…

    Also I think that Kahiva could have a point, though I don’t know much about RB’s PR dept. I think ESC was more organized and ready to rep the team at the event than Red Bull was, I didn’t see a single RB flyer or ad or official the whole time, only MLS reps handing out schedules….

  10. quakes fan says:

    Reyna should truly be charitable and return some of his DP money.

  11. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Thanks for the info Ives. I had not heard about the not talking to the media thing. The next question is, did JCO have any idea that Reyna was going to play?

  12. Allegre says:

    ….The legacy of CR just continues to grow!!! What will people remember of him Captain America or Captain DP hog? I think he is insuring his fate as the latter. I am sure the RBNY contract has limits on his outside sports activities, so they must have given him the OK to play. So they then share some of the shame as well.

  13. sidenetting says:

    Ives’ reporting sheds a lot of light on the situation. This goes way beyond Reyna’s injuries. It goes straight to the kind of guy he is. A guy who foresakes needed publicity for his charity with his media blackout. A guy who stonewall’s RedBull fans with his media blackout. Most importantly he’s a guy who isn’t working closely with RedBull New York, the folks who grossly overpay him. He’s freelancing here, he’s not being a team player.

    If I were in Reyna’s shoes, I would be doing everything I could to show people how hard I was rehabbing and how much this charity meant to me (so I’ll play half-speed) and how I am publicizing RedBull and MLS in New York and….you get the picture.

    I agree with the guy who posted last night…f*ck you Reyna.

    I’ve never said that to a USMNT player and probably never will again.

  14. Chris says:

    uh, curious about the lack of communication. When I watching the Red Bull game on MSG this past Saturday, I specifically watched an interview with Reyna where he talked about the game and who was coming and who was going to play. Carry on, though.

  15. John says:

    Reyna has been the most dissapointing American signing by MLS. He is a complete waste and should be released.

  16. locolos says:

    really? come on dude…

    yeah, Reyna didn’t handle the P.R. correctly. But I think this article is a bit harsh…

    Glad to hear Juan Pablo sat out…

  17. Reid says:

    I could be completely wrong, but what really is gonna dig this guys grave is when McBride comes back and shows MLS how a returning US nat’t team hero should play, and how he should treat the fans

  18. Rob C says:

    Does Reyna not realize that people truly do care about this league and especially this club? Certainly it’s not anything like Europe, but Reyna put himself out there in front of a lot of Red Bulls fans last night and whatever criticism he’s subjected to is more than deserved. As a Red Bull fan, I certainly feel slighted, and this does feel like “the last straw”…well-put, Ives.

    I wonder if he’s even watched the games that he’s missed. If he paid any attention to the last two, he would see the encouraging signs and try to get back in the team. This is the part of the season where the Red Bulls need to turn it around, and if he’s at all motivated, Reyna can be a part of that.

  19. kpugs says:

    The only reason I even care is because he is hogging a DP slot and making all that money. Otherwise I could care less, a half-assed charity game is nothing compared to real training and real games.

    In fact the only reason I am not calling morons like John morons here is because of the money Reyna makes, obviously anyone who isn’t a peabrain knows what he brings to the game WHEN HE IS ON THE FIELD. Oh wait, I did just call John a moron.

    Well, all anyone has to do to get me to agree with their idiotic and harsh statements is tie in the money this guy makes. If you don’t do that, well, sorry I’m going to keep being a jerk about it.

  20. Chris says:

    Guys, calm down. It was a freakin’ pick-up game fundraiser. Y’all have a right to be mad about his contributions on the field, but getting mad about this is a bit too far.

    To me it is just an excuse to attack him for not talking to the media.

  21. onionsack says:

    Not harsh at all.

    Reyna is rapidy moving up the list of the most hated Metro players of all time. People HATE him, that is no understatment. He is dangerously close to full out section 101 anti Reyna campaign.

    We want this BUM out of here. Retire, go get bent Reyna. Your a worthless piece of sh*t and an embarasment to us fans.

  22. DigzTFC says:

    I always thought Reyna would retire and become a coach with NY, but with this attitude, I’m quickly figuring out why NY has been mediocre for the last two seasons. If he wasn’t captain america, he would be blasted in the media. What an idiot. I mean come on, WTF did you expect to happen, Reyna? Red Bull fans have every right to want this guys head on a plate. If he can play in this game, he should be on their bench.

  23. Jonny says:

    Chris, is your last name Reyna? Who attacked Claudio? This article is freaking tame compared to what most of us Red Bulls fans would write about the guy.

  24. onionsack says:


    This goes waaaayyyy beyond this one incident. This is the culmination of 1.5 years of crap from Reyna. Fans are fed up and want his ass out of here permenantly!

    He is a joke, and not a funny one either.

  25. sidenetting says:

    let’s agree that Reyna has his side of the story and perhaps he did more publicity than Ives knew about.

    But the simple fact remains that the average fan seems to have had no idea about Reyna’s exact involvement. At a minimum, he should have had a press conference about the match with RBNY logos everywhere. Face it, this was a big deal Big names. It was awkward that the club was playing in an NFL stadium in Arizona on the same night but everyone should have gotten out in front of the story.

    The bottom line for me is that when I just went to the RedBull’s web site there was not a mention of this game. Matter of fact, there wasn’t a picture of Claudio or the name Reyna anywhere either. Hmmm.

    It makes no sense that a marketing juggernaut like RedBull would have failed to capitalize on this event. No sense at all. Someone enlighten me.

  26. hincha tim says:


    I don’t agree. As a DP and a supposed leader of his professional team, CR should be aware of how all his actions are perceived by his teammates and the fans. He should be bending over backwards to set a good example for the younger players on work ethic, professionalism. Although this might be a little thing in some ways, in a lot of ways it is a reflection of CR’s commitment to his teammates, his team, and his fans. He’s been around long enough that he should have thought about how his actions would be perceived. He obviously didn’t care to consider this, or did and didn’t give a crap. I don’t know which one is worse. As many pointed out, he could have got what he wanted accomplished in a positive way for all concerned. He didn’t bother to do that. The response of NYRB fans shows that. Shame on him.

  27. cbr says:

    the red bulls are paying for the cosmos past sins….thats the only explaination I can think of. At least we have Roth

  28. tedhill says:

    Ives, is there a way to make a link for a homepage that is absent of any Red Bulls posts, such as we did with the Supporters views? No offense to RBNY fans, but those of us that aren’t don’t always need these types of posts.

  29. Har says:

    I think Ives gets as emotionally involved with his Reyna bashing as he does with his responses to anyone questioning the Gooch-Boca centerback pairing…. I would play in a charity event with that kind of talent over a lowly MLS west coast swing too….

  30. ANTONIO MIGUEL says:

    WHO CARES – its not like NJ RedBulls need him in their failing season thus far.

  31. Il Consigliere says:

    I think JCO should drop him to the reserves for the remainder of the year…

  32. Ted says:

    I could care less about the Red Bulls, but imagine the reaction if Angel had played. There would have been a few comments here and there but it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

    I think these strong reactions (not just on SBI) show how bitter Red Bull fans are about the whole situation, and they probably should be.

  33. Laurie says:

    Ives, what about NYRB vs Chivas yesterday?

  34. briguy says:

    First off, thanks much for liveblogging the event yesterday, Ives.

    I was an athlete all through high school and played American football at a D1 school. It’s like this: if a coach is yelling at you, even if it’s making you miserable, then things are okay. When you stop hearing from coaches, when you basically just disappear, then you’re really screwed. At this point, they’ve given up on you, and anything you do that’s remotely productive is simply a bonus. Otherwise, you’re out of their plans for the team.

    This is precisely how I feel about Reyna. I stopped caring about him the first time he pulled up lame this year. He’s not worth yelling at, not worth talking to, and not worth caring about at this point.

    If he trots back out, and does some good things, then it’s a bonus, but nothing more. He’s got no future with RBNY.

    My attention now is squarely focused on the team of scrappers that has been seriously nutting up and getting results the last few weeks. I watched the game with utter joy last night, seeing guys like Ubi, Eche, and Gilkerson (WTF!) play with heart and desire.

    I realize Guadalajara is in preseason and all that other stuff. But I was happy to see guys like Roth get minutes. We completely dominated that game for long stretches last night, and I think the friendly was extremely important, as it’s allowing this team of no-names to further their on field chemistry.

    Reyna? He’s invisible to me.

  35. 4now says:

    Who’s starting the petition?

  36. mig22 says:

    Without debating the merits of Reyna, I will say that nothing riles up writers more than ignoring them. Baseball players who refused to talk to the press have been pilloried by sportswriters for years. The difference with soccer is that the fans feel somehow entitled to know every last doing of a player.

    I’m not attacking anybody here, so don’t go all postal but since the issue most folks have seems to be the lack of communication by Reyna (regarding the event), I find it all a tempest in a teapot.

  37. mikeK says:

    Sidenetting- It’s piss poor publicity if Ives didn’t hear about it.

    He’s an ass, plain and simple. He cannot score even one goal for us? Just one? And we’re paying him how much to sit on the sidelines?

    The issue here isn’t that he’s playing in a charity match. The issue is that he’s not playing on the field, and when he is, he’s not producing.

  38. Reid says:

    kpugs, who cares about money. That was sunk cost the moment he put pen to paper, forget the tying this to monyey. This should be tied to playing time alone.

    That is what CR agreed to give RBNY, if he can not hold up his end of the bargain, then he should retire.

    RBNY is holding up their end, and he should hold up his, if he is unable to then at the very least he should give an explanation to the RBNY faithful.

  39. Ives says:

    My “Reyna bashing”? Really? Do I really need to defend my track record when it comes to Claudio Reyna? Seriously?

  40. Ives says:

    As for those linking this piece as some sort of revenge for Claudio not speaking to the media, I haven’t been around the Red Bulls the past few weeks so I’m not the one who has been having his Reyna interview requests turned down so that theory is dead. My point about mentioning his media blackout is that rather than using the media to promote the charity game, and communicate with Red Bulls fans, he chose to stay silent.

  41. Ted says:

    briguy: Ouch.

  42. Paul says:

    To all the Reyna-bashers: I’m not saying I disagree with you, but please specify what you mean by things along the lines of “this is just the latest his long list of offenses.” He has played poorly, no doubt. He has spent much of his time here injured — also true. His recent “media blackout” is something new and different, and perhaps deserving of criticism. But assuming that (1) he’s trying, and not playing badly on purpose, (2) he’s truly injured, and not faking the injuries or malingering, what could he do to get improve things? Being accessible and open comes to mind, I guess. But some comments interpret his reticence as arrogance and contempt for the fans and the club. Is there other evidence of these things?

  43. Mark says:

    I’ve watched Reyna his entire USMNT career, and I’ll always like the guy for his contributions at that level.

    However, his tenure here has been a disaster. It’s a truly a shame as this should have been his triumphant return to his hometown team, and it’s all gone wrong.

    It just gets worse and worse. He’s the captain of the team, but doesn’t communicate with the media and then he plays in a chartiy game while his team is in the midst of ton of games in which they need all hands on deck. As a season ticket holder, it’s maddening.

    Ives is right, if he had communicated all this upfront and talked about it, I don’t think most fans would have given it a second thought, and who knows, maybe the guy makes a lot more money for his foundation cause more people are aware of it. Yet another missed opportunity.

  44. Giorgia Chinaglia says:

    Let me tell you, my friend. This Claudio Reyna is terrible. He never plays, he never scores & he doesn’t talk to the press. Listen my friend, when I played, I was smart enough to always give a good quote to the press & score a nice goal for the fans. I also played hurt. I may be tough to play with, but I was tougher to play against. I may old now & just finished eating a bowl of scungillia, but let me tell you, my friend, I was the leading goal scorer in the North Americam Soccer league & I can still dribble past this lazy, overpaid sack because he’d be too busy cashing his paycheck to catch me. You listen to Giorgio, okay?

  45. Haig says:

    As I said yesterday, Red Bull needs to get their legal team to look to see if Reyna breached his contract.

    As for trying to defend criticism of Reyna: he has lost everyone except for a tiny set of diehards. The burden is on THEM to justify his value.

  46. A.S. says:

    The point about the lack of communication and publicity for the event doesn’t make any sense.

    Anybody who was there would know that you couldn’t have gotten any more people to the event anyway. It was a complete mob scene without additional publicity, with lots of people turning away because that couldn’t see anything. The place was completely packed with people, and there was simply no place for any additional people to go. People were climbing the trees to be able to catch a glimpse, fercrissakes.

    So I really, really don’t understand Ives’s point. Did he think there should have been EVEN MORE people who showed up, couldn’t see anything, and went home disappointed?

    Ives is WAAAY off on this one.

  47. LJ says:

    “Reyna used the match as part of his rehabilitation from a back injury, and noted the level of play was not too fierce.” -AP

    Personally, I don’t give 2 sh1ts.

    I go to NYRB games, and hear the crap people scream at Reyna. I HOPE HE DID IT TO SPITE THE NY FANS. but I doubt he did

  48. Jerry says:

    I think that the saddest part of this whole debacle is that JCO and Agoos are completel oblivious to the fact that CR is a complete waste of a roster spot healthy or not and even more the $ being used on his DP slot will continue to hurt the team as a whole and my fear is they are clueless to this and actually offer him another contract!!! we havent heard either one’s opinion of future plans for using a DP in 2009 and neither have they stated how they feel about having CR on the team what happens then? : (

  49. SayervilleFC says:

    I think it’s a travesty that Reyna isn’t talking to the media.

    Last I checked, this is still the US, he’s still a US player and soccer still needs all the publicity it can get in this country.

    Part of the value of a DP is his marketability and part of his maketability is TALKING TO THE MEDIA to get his name and the team’s name in the media.

    Given Claudio’s long history with injuries, I’ll give Claudio the benefit of the doubt with being hurt. But there is NO EXCUSE – absolutely none – for a DP, an American one no less, not talking to the media.

    The Red Bulls and MLS need to sit down with Claudio and remind him of his responsibilities that come with accepting the DP money.

  50. KingSnake says:

    Hate to say I told ya so …

  51. A.S. says:

    Also, as I commented yesterday, Reyna’s participation in a half-speed game, with a bunch of basketball players and old, fat dudes (like Marc Stein from ESPN), really says nothing about his fitness to play for RBNY.

    It’s as if David Ortiz were to play little league with his son and Red Sox fans get upset that he isn’t back playing in the Majors.

    I understand that people are upset that Reyna’s been hurt so much in the last year and a half, and agree that his signing has been a complete waste so far, but to take it out on him for playing in his own charity game is completely ridiculous.

  52. eric says:

    As a neutral fan, I have to say that most of my interest in NY is gone with Jozy out the door. 2005 was about the last time I had any real hope in Renya, and while my bets where on him being a bust, I’m still disappointed that he, JA, and JPA couldn’t put up a memorable run. Fittingly, the best game from the era (NY 5, LA 4), I have no clue if Renya played or not.

    My sympathies, RB fans, MLS would be a lot better with a strong NY franchise.

  53. stephen says:

    so he declined an interview request, now a hatchet job?

  54. Z says:

    You are stupid, i was at the match and it was basically a glorified kick around. You can never knock somebody for making an appearance for charity. If he was fit to play, the redbulls would have him with the team and playing, it wouldn’t be his decision. If you want to write something about the match you should write about the money that they raised to help kids or the number of New Yorkers that came out to support it…not this garbage about Reyna.

  55. ManicMessiah says:

    Of course Reyna playing in that game, by itself, is not a big deal. If Angel was in the same situation, I probably wouldn’t have cared one bit.

    Why? Because he came in last year and scored 19 goals, and it took a concussion to knock him out of that 2nd match against the Revs. Has he been injured this year? Yes, but he played through the injury for awhile.

    Honestly, I’m trying to muster up some actual emotion about it, but I can’t really. I don’t know how I could expect anything out of Reyna right now, so it’s hard to be disappointed or surprised by anything.

  56. Haig says:

    “My sympathies, RB fans, MLS would be a lot better with a strong NY franchise. ”

    We just want players willing to bleed for the team, not someone’s idea of a “strong NY franchise.”

    And I’m starting to think we DO have those players. Except for Reyna, who was certainly the butt of many jokes on the team plane.

  57. Aguinaga says:

    A.S. – You don’t get it do you? What part about “Playing in the game itself wasn’t that bad” in Ives’ post did you not understand? It’s about how Reyna decides to carry himself as this team’s DP. I don’t know the guy, so his apparent air of arrogance could simply be ignorance or worse, indifference. But then, think about his actions, or lack thereof, and think about how if you were in his shoes, how you could endear yourself to this team and its fans. Then ask yourself why those things aren’t happening. Maybe then you’ll begin to understand what’s got people so fed up.

  58. doug says:

    do you think SAF would of put up with Rooney playing a charity game when he was out with a metatarsal last year? I think not

  59. Paul says:

    Based on many posts, it seems Reyna’s obliviousness to the nightmarish PR situation facing both him and the team as a whole is also part of a larger problem with the club. Intentionally or not, Reyna may be predisposed to ignore or avoid media coverage. But the club as a whole has also long been tone-deaf when it comes to media relations. An aware and media-savvy club would have made sure that its DP, and one of its most visible players, was available and open to the media on a regular basis.

  60. andacagar says:

    GET RID OF THIS CLOWN. Bring in somebody with heart. I’d rather have Steve Nash play in his spot. Cant we just cut him and use that DP on another player? I used to root for this guy even though I always knew he wasn’t that good just because he’s Argentine and from Jersey.

  61. golfstrom says:

    the nerve of that guy to participate in a charity game. it’s a disgrace to RBNY, USMNT, energy drinks, and the Pope.

  62. Dirty Jerzey says:

    To be fair to Reyna, he did publicize the charity event during the FSC pregame show before the FC Dallas game on Saturday, which would mean that Red Bull should’ve known about the game at least 4-5 days in advance. And when Claudio talked about it, he mentioned that him and Nash thought of it first only a month ago.

    I’m not even a Claudio apologist, far from it. Trading away a motivated Amado for a DP slot to get Mr. Little Things was horrible then, and more horrible now. But this charity match isn’t the last straw.

  63. Joamiq says:

    This is the last straw. I can’t believe how far he’s fallen in my eyes. Claudio, you’re dead to me. Retire. Now.

  64. hincha tim says:

    I’m not a fan of the NYRB and very early on (as opposed to Ives) I pointed out the stupidity of signing him as a DP. However, he could have at least earned some of his DP money if he had used his position, even if he was injured, to be a leader on the team and mentored the younger players. Part of that is going above and beyond what is expected of him. There should be no doubt from the fans and his teammates that he is committed to the team. He should show that he is doing everything (and more) to rehab as best and quickly as possible, and even when not on the field to support the team (think of Christian Gomez in the stands with DCU).

    No matter what other teams and fans think of Blanco (I hate his whining/flopping) I have gained a lot of respect for him since he joined the MLS. By all accounts, he spends extra time after training sessions working on his game, and helping younger players. Ironic that Blanco is helping American soccer more than “Captain America”.

  65. kco says:

    Is Reyna even still on the roster? July 1 is when salaries are guaranteed so it’s not to late for Red Bull to get it’s money back.

  66. MiamiAl says:

    Red Bulls should offer that DP slot to Steve Nash instead….

  67. mikeK says:

    Or Henry, let’s get him while he’s in town.

  68. Andrew says:

    You guys talk all this craziness about Claudio but your the first to line up on a two hour line just to get the guy’s autograph. Its pathetic! I am sure that it will happen again at the final fan appreciation day signing. I would love to see a group of ESC’er’s who say they are the hardcore fans actually do something hardcore…maybe they should show up to the signing and boycott or put a human blockade from anyone who says they want a Reyna signing…be vocal when it counts…the guy will be retiring and be a couple of feet away and there is nothing better than having him know how we feel.

    Yeah right…that will never happen…until this group steps up to do something besides cheer and yell for an entire game I will just keep those letters in lower-case….great job esc

  69. UNITED says:

    You all DO know that a one-off non-competitive soccer game where the result doesn’t matter and where no one is out to injure is very, very different from a competitive football fixture, right? Reyna’s injury may have healed, but he may not be fully fit for competitive football yet.

  70. A.S. says:

    “You all DO know that a one-off non-competitive soccer game where the result doesn’t matter and where no one is out to injure is very, very different from a competitive football fixture, right?”

    Apparently, most people on this thread do NOT know that.

  71. yakimashorty says:

    This report is an awful case of manufactured outrage created to appeal to Reyna-bashers. Playing in a slow-paced charity match is not a personal affront to Red Bull fans no matter how much “symbolism” you think you see in it. Reyna should be lauded for his charitable effort, not treated like a villain. This piece of gratuitous Reyna-bashing is way over the line.

  72. DLL says:

    I’m recently transplanted from NYC to Cali, and I knew about this pickup game (I even let some friends in NY know about it!).

    I have to say the whole idea of “CR is overpaid and always hurt so he should retire, it’s the right thing to do” is a load of crap. You all make it sound like Claudio held RBNY up with a gun in an alley to pay him. They agreed to the deal, so did he. He’s always been injury prone (certainly in recent years). He’s entitled to get as much money as he can, and they agreed to pay it. It’s neither his fault, nor his responsibility, to do anything other than what he’s asked to by the club. We all know the NY MLS franchise is a disaster, those of you who REALLY care about them will be the first one’s to acknowledge that. The team is poorly run, always has been. The PR department are, frankly, incompetant. They don’t market the team in New York City, only in NJ, and it shows. You are all taking out your frustrations on the franchise’s lack of winning, communication and good decision making on CR. I’m not saying he’s a great player (or ever was, though he’s always been good) but if he doesn’t want to talk to the media, or respond to the negative BS that you guys heap on him constantly, can you blame him? I’ve never met the guy, but he seems like he does the best he can. He was quoted after the game as saying that the RB’s, and Osorio, knew where he was and were OK with it. I’m guessing it was a mob scene over there, so why would it need more publicity (it was all over the net, including the NY Times)?

    Grow up, all of you. Stop supporting a poorly run franchise. Direct your ire at RB and Agoos and whoever this new Managing Director guy is. CR is just doing the best he can with an old, tired, creaky body.

  73. hincha tim says:

    United and A.S.

    You all DO know the definition and characteristics of LEADERSHIP? Do CR’s actions with the NYRD since he was signed reflect those? As I said before, I’m anything but a NYRB fan, so I’m chuckling over all this.

  74. brentmcd says:

    Look at Beckham last year for Galaxy. See Cannavaro at the Euro for Italy. A team leader and captain should be there for the team, injured or not.

  75. Haig says:

    “Grow up, all of you. Stop supporting a poorly run franchise.”

    Another clown who got FSC last year and thinks he knows everything about soccer.

    We support our team not for the management but for the players. So get lost.

  76. Haig says:

    “But this charity match isn’t the last straw.”

    But it is totally emblematic of the disdain he has for the team who signs his checks and the supporters of that team. He’s the one getting charity, not his foundation.

  77. DLL says:

    “Another clown who got FSC last year and thinks he knows everything about soccer.”

    Wow, you told me! Just because you comment on this blog every day doesn’t mean YOU know anything about soccer, it just means you have a lot of time on your hands. If we all had to produce our bona fides to comment on this site my guess is no one would have much to say.

    It’s all just out opinion, and in this case, this is just Ives’ opinion (love the blog Ives, read it every day). I have my opinion, you disagree. Fair enough. Now rip me again…

  78. A.S. says:

    “United and A.S.

    You all DO know the definition and characteristics of LEADERSHIP? Do CR’s actions with the NYRD since he was signed reflect those? As I said before, I’m anything but a NYRB fan, so I’m chuckling over all this.”

    No, Reyna hasn’t really been a leader since he joined RBNY. It’s difficult to be a leader when you’re hurt all the time.

    That said, Reyna’s playing in a charity game has nothing at all to do with his leadership skills (or lack thereof). For anyone to be “insulted” by this is completely ridiculous.

    What’s really strange is that nobody can put forth any rational reason to be insulted, and yet here we have a gazillion comments outraged at his playing.

    Reyna’s playing in this event says absolutely nothing about his fitness for a real competitive match.

    Reyna’s playing in this event says absolutely nothing about his “leadership” of the team.

    And Reyna’s supposed lack of “communication” about the event – Ives’ weird comment – says nothing either, since the venue couldn’t hold any more people even if Reyna spent every day of the last 3 weeks publicizing it.

  79. onionsack says:


    I couldn’t care less about whether he played in this or not, i couldn’t care less if he doesn’t talk to the media. What i do care about is this punk is sucking up an EXTREMELY VALUABLE DP spot and producing f*ck all. His presence alone has cost this team a chance to improve and sign a world class caliber player to lead this team to a much needed trophy of some kind.

    What i do care about is this guy is making millions here to sit around and do crap and when presented with the option to help the team and free up the DP spot he refused.

    What i do care about is this punk when he actually does play, which isnt often, he stinks up the joint. 0 goals and 3 bullsh*t MLS secondary assists in a season and a half.

    HE SUCKS.SUCKS.SUCKS. He neds to retire and get the f*ck lost. I dont care what the man did for the US at this point because all he has done for this club i jack sh*t.


  80. papi grande says:

    Ives, stop defending this guy (read: Claudio). CLAUDIO IS A PUNK…..PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Truly unprofessional on his part….that is the true crime here.

  81. HomeyBoehme says:

    I have to agree that people are angry at Reyna because he has become the symbol of all that is wrong with NYRB – things that are not Reyna’s fault. Reyna’s presence and actions (or lack thereof) magnify the incredible stupity of NYRB’s decision-making:

    1.) Guaranteed contract and DP slot to an often injured player whose best years were definitely behind him. 2.) Terrible or in most cases non-existent PR by the organization in promoting the team or any of their players. 3.) Mismanagement of the franchise as a whole – coaching, personnel, front office, ownership etc.

    That said, it is certainly fair to question the professionalism of a player who plays in a charity match when he can’t and hasn’t been playing for his club. JPA did not play because he has been injured, and in not playing showed respect to the club and the fans by not risking any injury. Reyna did play THE ENTIRE MATCH, and in doing so certainly raised questions about his professionalism to the club and the fans.

    If Reyna had played for 5 or 10 minutes and then sat for the remainder, I think people would have been fine with that. However, he certainly insulted the fans by playing that entire charity match when he isn’t playing in any capacity for NYRB.

    So fans do have a right to be upset at Reyna for a lack of class/professionalism, but I don’t think Reyna should be blamed for the mistakes of an entire franchise that made this situation possible.

  82. Slugger says:

    I want to know why Reyna and Nash scheduled the game for this date? Had CR been healthy, wouldn’t he have missed his own event because RB were out west? How could he know, a month out, that’d he would be available for this charity match?

  83. clint dempsey says:

    why talk to snakes that ask loaded questions.they have the answer before it comes out.

  84. Kim says:


    Thin criticisms. Let me see if I have this right- your problem with the situation isn’t that he has shirked his responsibilities to the club or that his participation in this event was at the expense of fulfilling his contract obligations as his club went on a road trip. It’s that he didn’t properly prep the media so as to avoid misinformed criticism? Dude, I thought that was what you were for- to get the story right and help readers help readers appreciate all things soccer from a more informed perspective. How about instead of committing to some criticism and risk coming off like some teenage ‘oh my god’ gossip monger, you get the story right? New York fans disappointment is understandable but misplaced- here’s why. Honestly, Reyna owes no one an apology. I am sure he isn’t enjoying being injured and would have a different script to the end of his career- but it is what it is. And that certainly is no fault of his.

    Get off Captain America bitches!

  85. CM says:

    His heart is clearly not with the team. I think he had all of the best intentions when he signed for the team last year, and whether or not the turf at GS caused his injuries, he hasn’t lived up to expectations – and he won’t over the next/last few months of his time with RBNY. If he is able to “come back from injury” and actually help RBNY, great. Otherwise just start the countdown to the end of his time in MLS.

    It is a disappointing, frustrating and sad end of a career, but it is the end.

  86. onionsack says:

    Kim you are a sheep. Your exactly the kind of fan NYRB hopes to have. Dont critisize, dont ask questions, just nod and go along with the company line.

    Fans here, the ones that actually know a thing or two about this sport and this team all decried the signing 16 months ago as an obvious Tab Ramos part II signing, and have once again as they often are, proven right.

    This guy may have been great once, he may deserve many rounds of applause for his US career…but he deserved a swift kick in the ass out the back door here for his current club because he has been a consistant disappointment here. On the field, off the field, hell outerspace probably..the guy is a complete waste of a DP spot, a complete waste of a roster spot. He is always hurt, and always underwhelming when he isn’t.

    His refusal to renegotiate his contract or accpet a buyout comeplely hamstrung this team’s chances to go out an get a real difference maker that could help the team win. As a fan the success of the team comes first. We expect our players to also do what is right by our team.

    Reyna’s refusal signifies his personal desires are above that over the club and it’s fans and deserves every bit of outrage and critisism he gets.

    Attacking Ives over simply puting the most recent afront to the fans in perspective shows you are a complete and utter tool. Get bent.

  87. kofi_x5 says:

    I concur with Briguy

    “This is precisely how I feel about Reyna. I stopped caring about him the first time he pulled up lame this year. He’s not worth yelling at, not worth talking to, and not worth caring about at this point.

    If he trots back out, and does some good things, then it’s a bonus, but nothing more. He’s got no future with RBNY.

    My attention now is squarely focused on the team of scrappers that has been seriously nutting up and getting results the last few weeks. I watched the game with utter joy last night, seeing guys like Ubi, Eche, and Gilkerson (WTF!) play with heart and desire.

    I realize Guadalajara is in preseason and all that other stuff. But I was happy to see guys like Roth get minutes. We completely dominated that game for long stretches last night, and I think the friendly was extremely important, as it’s allowing this team of no-names to further their on field chemistry.

    Reyna? He’s invisible to me.”

  88. Dan D says:

    Risky. That is all I can say. Anybody can get injured in sports taking no contact at all. Why risk hurting yourself when you are in season? I remember(I’m sure many of you do too) Chris Armas playing a friendly tune up game against Uruguay just before the 2002 World Cup. Nobody touched him, nobody was near him, he moved awkardly and fell to the ground. He blew his knee out and he was out for the 2002 World cup. Pablo Mastreoni was in. Why risk injury in a charity game? The NBA guys and European Footballers are out of season. Bad choice by CR, considering he is already injured.

    Sadly, CR has not produced anything of quality for the Red Bulls, time for him to contribute meaningfully for the team or move on. His DP spot is costly.

  89. John Martin says:

    Ives, how can you write this?? After reading this article, I went back and re-read your June 2006 article, which I loved, “End of an Era”. You discussed Claudio in the 2002 and 2006 WC’s, and defended him against his critics. Why the change of heart? Yes, he’s getting paid lots of $$ now and not playing much, but so is Beckham. Can’t we give the guy, a guy who you apparently loved and respected and called America’s best, a bit of a break? Seems to me like you may be airing a personal grievance, perhaps something that happened between you and CR? Maybe not, I’m just surprised to read this article. Cheers.

  90. Ives says:

    John, the article wasn’t about a personal grievance at all. It was my opinion on what Reyna did and that’s it. I still respect him and have been one of his biggest defenders for years, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore what I, and a lot of other people, considered a bad decision and a real insult to Red Bulls fans. He could have handled it much better, that was the main point of the piece.

  91. Ives, another great blog, my friend.

    While I don’t necessarily agree with your assessment of what was and was not an issue, I do agree that he needed to openly communicate his intentions to our club and management.

    He’s run out of friends in our supporters section, and many of them are beyond coming back to his side. We as a group feel that this appearance IS a huge slap in the face to us, the club and his teammates. If you can’t play in our matches or fly with the team then stay at home and watch from your living room. Or come out and support them with your supporters club who go to every away match! Playing in a charity match is acceptable to most when you’re not conflicting your schedule with that of the club you play for. What would have been the excuse if he was healthy? Would they have switched the match to Sunday instead?

    These are questions he should be made to answer… he’s a former USA captain and a role model to young athletes in this country… this is the example you set. Wonderful.

    Thanks so much, Claudio. We’re happy your little charity match got the cameras flashing and the pockets emptying… don’t stress over your club at all. If you had gotten injured what would you have to say for yourself?

    Would you do us all a favor here and retire? Or at the very least restructure your contract to free up a DP spot for someone who can actually play to the level the spots were designed for??