And a note from me: Get well soon, Sean!!
The story of D.C. United at Red Bull Arena begins almost two weeks ago on Thursday, September 1 at Yankee Stadium. Days after an incredible 6-2 hosing of the Chicago Fire, D.C. United traveled north to New York to face N.Y.C.F.C. To say that expectations were high is an understatement. D.C. United had just scored six goals. They looked good and the fans were ready for the first winning streak of the season.
The problem is that N.Y.C.F.C. is a team that can win games. They’re very uneven and their defense is one of the worst in the league but they can win. N.Y.C.F.C. spent big money on David Villa (17 goals) and Frank Lampard (12 goals) for a reason. If they’re going to win, they’re generally going to win by outshooting you, not by keeping goals out. D.C. United, on the other hand, under former defensive midfielder Ben Olsen, has spent the last few years winning by defending and has spent most of this year unable to score much of anything and scraping out a fair number of 1-1 draws. You have to add up our top seven goal scorers this season to equal the total of N.Y.C.F.C’s top two, and one of those seven is centerback Steve Birnbaum!
But D.C. United seemed to have figured it out. And they played the first 75 minutes of the game against N.Y.C.F.C. like the team we’d seen take Chicago out behind the woodshed. Fluid attack, keeping N.Y.C.F.C.’s chances to a minimum… but we’d only scored once. And we’d lost that 1-0 lead too many times this season. Would this be the game that broke the streak? As the clock ticked on towards 90 minutes, all of us watching at home started to hope. Yes, it would be today!
And then it all came crashing down.