The Red Bulls finished on top of MLS standings after the regular season to clinch the Supporters' Shield but have no chance of winning the MLS Cup after being eliminated from the playoffs by Houston Dynamo on the weekend.
De Bontin pointed out that former Liverpool boss Houllier couldn't quite work out, how after finishing the season with the best record, New York aren't actually crowned champions of the competition.
"We had many European guests tonight in the skyboxes," de Bontin told the NY Post after losing 2-1 in extra-time to the Dynamo. "And Gerard himself was asking 'Why don't you call yourself champions?'.
"This notion of winning the regular season and not being champions is hard to understand for Europeans. Yes, satisfaction is we are champions. We were the best team in the regular season.
"Playoffs are playoffs. I wish we had gone further but looking at who was there, and the way they celebrated the Shield last week, and the communion that we now have between the fans, the coach and the players, plenty of things we did not have before, so there is satisfaction. We have plenty to build on. We are much further along now than we were a year ago."
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