The CONCACAF Champions League came to North America's largest media market for the first time in five years on Tuesday, and just the second time in the entire existence of Major League Soccer's New York/New Jersey franchise.
Before this week, the only previous time that the MetroStars and/or Red Bulls had taken any part in the continent's top international club competition was the 2009-10 season's qualifying stage. In a two-leg playoff, the Red Bulls were knocked out by Trinidad and Tobago's W Connection.
In the current Champions League format, there is no qualifying playoff for MLS teams. So after winning last season's Supporters Shield, the Red Bulls went straight to the group stage.
Their first match of the round was an entertaining 2-0 victory over El Salvador's FAS. It might have been a bit too entertaining for the South Ward's tastes, as New York's back line was shaky and its front line was rather profligate. But you can only complain so much about a shutout win.
In the night's other marquee matchup, Mexican powerhouse Club América was held to a 1-1 draw in Guatemala City by Comunicaciones. Because it was a late kickoff, I went to sleep a few minutes after América scored, so I missed the equalizer. Serves me right.
Here are all the highlights from Tuesday's action:
New York Red Bulls 2 (United States), FAS (El Salvador) 0
New York Red Bulls: Saër Sène 11', Lloyd Sam 70'
Comunicaciones (Guatemala) 1, Club América (Mexico) 1
Comunicaciones: Rolando Blackburn 28'
Club América: Oribe Peralta 5'
Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica) 3, Real Estelí (Nicaragua) 0
Deportivo Saprissa: Ariel Rodríguez Araya 18', 74', 89'