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Red Bull Global Soccer Owner Dietrich Mateschitz Passes at age 78

photo by Matt Kremkau

On Saturday, October 22nd Red Bull Energy Drink Corporation owner Dietrich Mateschitz passed away at the age of 78 going thru a long illness. The man who began his energy drink company back in 1984 and went worldwide many years later with his funny cartoonish tv commercials of "Red Bull gives you wings" broke out in the beverage scene in the United States. He is survived by his partner Marion Feichtner and his son.

"It is a sad time for all of us at Major League Soccer as we mourn the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz, the founder of Red Bull New York and a passionate supporter of MLS," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. "Throughout the past 16 years, his vision resulted in one of the great soccer stadiums in our region and a best-in-class player development system that has elevated the sport and our league at all levels."

"Dietrich’s innovative approach to marketing and branding has had lasting impact on a multitude of sports from soccer to auto racing to action sports. We will all miss his good nature and his big smile," he added. "Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, and the entire Red Bull soccer community."

In the Sports World, he decided to become an owner of a Formula One Racing team purchasing Jaguar racing team from Ford and started Red Bull Racing in the mid to late 1990s, but what he is truly known for was the purchasing of soccer clubs across Europe, Brazil & here in Major League Soccer. 

It all started in a controversial fashion when he bought SV Austria Salzburg in 2005, changed the name and colors of the company, then purchased the MetroStars to start a new era and renamed it the New York Red Bulls. That brought over international superstars like Juan Pablo Angel, Thierry Henry, and Tim Cahill. Also developed future American players within the academy like Jozy Altidore, Tyler Adams, Sean Davis, John Tolkin, and Daniel Edelman. Brought over solid veterans like Clint Mathis, Sacha Kljestan, Kenny Cooper, and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

But the biggest moment for this club came in 2010. After starting their existence at the Meadowlands in the former Giants Stadium, was building Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey where the club has held many matches within MLS and hosted multiple friendly international games against some of the best clubs in the world, National Team friendly games, as well as CONCACAF Gold Cup Group Stage, matches.

But the most significant match that many would say would be the International Champions Cup as a young Red Bull side would defeat Jose Mourinho's Chelsea by a final of four goals to two. Adams & two goals by Davis would embarrass the London side as they thought it was going to be an easy match to play. 

While the current level of play has been up and down, there is no doubt that Mateschitz has shown that he gave the supporters of this club a true stadium that they can call home. While it was Lamar Hunt & Phil Anschutz who started the Soccer Specific Stadium Craze to leave the renting of NFL & College Stadiums, it's the European feel on a slice of New Jersey land that gives this area a true feel for where the game should be played in the USA.


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