HANOVER, N.J. – When the New York Red Bulls travel to Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take on New York City F.C., Alex Muyl still isn’t certain how he will get to the game. He might hop a ride with someone or he might take in public transportation.
See, Muyl isn’t just a rookie on the Red Bulls, he is a native New Yorker and traveling by train or bus to play a game of soccer is nothing new for him.
Muyl, outside of playing his college soccer at Georgetown, has spent his whole life in New York City. He has lived in the same apartment on the Lower East Side since he came home from Beth Israel Hospital and currently sleeps in the childhood bedroom he grew up in. His early years, playing soccer, were spent traveling across the five boroughs for different club teams.
He started playing at fields near the FDR Drive then eventually as he got older he found games along the East River and finally at Pier 40. New York City may have a lot of soccer fans but it doesn’t have a ton of soccer fields, something that led Muyl to crisscrossing the city for matches.
After spending time with the United States Soccer’s residency program, he ended up joining the Red Bulls Academy to further his ambition to play professionally someday.
“It was definitely a commute back then as well. I had to take the subway to the PATH to New Jersey Transit every day,” Muyl told Metro. This against the backdrop of the building buzz about Saturday’s rivalry match between the two New York City teams in MLS.
“I think it’s something that I’ve been thinking about it. I have a lot of friends who are hitting me up, they are New York City fans or Red Bulls fans. It’s something I’m definitely excited about.”
Some of those friends will be at the game on Saturday and are New York City F.C. season ticket holders but were fans of the team before Muyl signed with the Red Bulls – “by the transitive property, I think they are more into Red Bulls.” Several thousand Red Bulls fans are expected at the game.
The three games played between these two sides last year were swept by the Red Bulls. He watched the games on television as he was away at college. But he heard about the excitement and the buzz and can’t wait to be a part of it this year. This past offseason, the Red Bulls signed Muyl to a homegrown contract and already, the 20-year old midfielder has appeared in seven matches and has an assist.
And even though ‘City F.C.’ is in the Bronx and Red Bull Arena is in New Jersey, Muyl said that it is easier for him to get from Manhattan across the river rather than go to Yankee Stadium. Most of the time he takes the PATH to games at Red Bull Arena but sometimes drives in with his family “when they want to get there early.”