Who they are: One of the original MLS franchises—launched as the MetroStars—the Red Bulls were regular-season champs in 2015 and made a deep playoff run. This year, they'll play in the 2016–17 CONCACAF Champions League against other top North American, Central American and Caribbean teams, starting late in the summer.
Faces of the franchise: Ace goal scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips, steady midfielders Dax McCarty and Sasha Kljestan, dangerous winger Lloyd Sam—the list of skilled players is extensive. But attend a game and you may find legions of fans cheering loudest for sparkplug Mike Grella, who hails from Glen Cove on Long Island and who last year scored the fastest goal in MLS history.
Key addition: When your top defender (Matt Miazga) moves to play for English Premier League power Chelsea, your team has some pretty big shoes to fill. Up-and-coming Ghanaian Gideon Baah, late of the Finnish League—and subject of rumors that had him transferring to the B team of the world’s top club, Barcelona—will be one of those expected to help out.
Local supporters’ bar: There are plenty of NYC bars where you can join fans; one is Queens' Bar 43.
Random bit of trivia: Five former franchise coaches also led national teams to the World Cup: Carlos Quieroz (Portugal), Carlos Alberto Parreira (Brazil), Bora Milutinovic (Mexico, Costa Rica, United States, Nigeria, China), Bruce Arena (United States) and Bob Bradley (United States).
Match-day practicalities: Take a PATH train to the Harrison stop from either the World Trade Center Transportation Hub or via Newark Penn Station (which you can get to from NYC’s Penn Station). Ticket prices per match are generally $30–$85.