A loss is always tough to take, especially in the playoffs. The fact that it was against the New York Red Bulls is like putting salt in the wound. But, the good news is they have to come to RFK on Saturday (buy tickets). This series is far from over. To finish off the weekend trip, here are five observations about our trip to New Jersey in no particular order.
1. This team has a lot of fight – it’s far from over
If New York can beat us 2-0 at home, why can’t we go back to RFK and do the same to them? You want to know why I am so confident? It’s because of the conversations in the locker room post-game. Go ahead, read the quotes from Head Coach Ben Olsen, goalkeeper Bill Hamid and captain Bobby Boswell. They all said the same thing. We have a lot of fight on this team, it’s not over and it will be a battle on Saturday. But, the best line of the night that you won’t read in any paper is what I heard midfielder Davy Arnaud say somewhat out loud, but also somewhat under his breathe when media wasn’t in the room.
“It’s only halftime. And the second half is in D.C.” – Arnaud
2. Molly Bruh and Rebecca Payne like snacks
If you have worked at D.C. United, or even popped your head in to Molly and Becca’s office, you know that they like snacks. And they don’t play favorites to any type of snacks in particular; they can go from hummus to brownies to Dunkaroos. But at Red Bull Arena, the weapon of choice was Twizzlers (as it usually is). Here’s your proof.
Editor's note: I haven't eaten a Dunkaroo since I was 12 - MB
3. This is a rivalry with respect
We all know D.C. United doesn’t like the New York Red Bulls and vice-versa, but you get an appreciation for the rivalry when you get an inside look at it. Sunday was a perfect example. It’s an hour before kick-off and the tensions are running high. Ben Olsen is doing a pre-game interview when Thierry Henry walks behind him and starts poking him and touching his hair with a smile on his face. These two “enemies” caught up down the hall with a hug and a quick conversation before going their separate ways. Sometimes the fans get caught up in the hatred, but off the field these guys all know and respect each other. It’s what makes sports so unique, especially this one. Soccer is a universal language.
4. Our fans love road trips
When I looked up from the pressbox and saw our fan section, I was blown away. They never cease to amaze me. This is the third time mentioning them in observations from the road, and I have only done this four times. All three times, they have been different experiences. In Houston we traveled with an amazing couple who were part of the team for the weekend, people traveled thousands of miles to Panama for one game, and this time I had a sea of Black-and-Red to look at all game. You know what I am even more excited about? What that sea of Black-and-Red will look like Saturday.
5. I’m not ready for winter
This was a pretty scientific study that I conducted Sunday morning. I walked outside for our team walk with the guys, got smacked in the face by the wind and that was all there was to it. Nope, not for me.