I chose the above picture, from a few Pablo Maurer sent over, for two reasons. One, I like to see our players having fun. Two, Perry Kitchen is not panicking. In fact, he is building a snowman out of soccer balls.
There are 32 games left in the season
Last year, New York won the Supporters’ Shield with only a record of 0-2-2 after its first four games. Sporting Kansas City, 2013 MLS Cup winner, started its campaign 1-1-2. Portland didn’t win a game until its fifth match either, and ended the season first in the West.
Goals will come.
Let’s look at our now-starting forwards. In Fabián Espíndola’s most productive year (2011; RSL), he didn’t score a goal until April 13. Then, his goals came in bundles. Scoring three goals in June, two in July, one in August, two in September and one in October, he ended the season with 10 tallies. In his next two seasons, goals came in March, but he still had lay periods in his scoring patterns, ending both season with nine goals.
Eddie Johnson’s most productive year since returning to MLS was 2012. The forward netted 14 goals on the year, none of which came in March. Johnson found the net once in April, twice in May, four times in June (could be good news for the USMNT), twice in July, twice in August, twice in September and once in October. In 2013, he netted one goal in March, and his next didn’t come until May, but EJ still finished with nine goals on the season.
You can’t teach chemistry
Eddie said it last week in an interview, Davy Arnaud said it in another interview to be featured in this weekend’s Matchday program, and it has been reiterated by all, players and coaches, since preseason began.
This is a special group. The locker room is so tight-knit it actually surprised MLS veterans. Teams can have all the talent in the world and the lack of chemistry leaves them wanting at the end of seasons. This closeness, this trust, this chemistry will manifest on the field. It will just take some time, and we have some time left.