Before Saturday’s FCC game, expectations were high.
Our team was coming off of two straight wins. A third win and we would hold the record for the most points through 5 games for any MLS expansion side.
Nothing could stop us. No way were we going to allow a team to come into Fortress Nippert and steal points.
A funny thing happened on the way to the Stadium, however. It turns out someone in the Tri-State Area was being punished for some egregious sin and a biblical rain storm hit and would stick around all night.
Not only was the rain relentless but as the game progressed the temperature decided to take a nose dive and the wind picked up.
Still the fans poured in. Thousands of brave men, women, children, and warriors in The Bailey still showed up. Ponchos draped over jerseys. Excitement in the air.
I used to play soccer and I loved to play in the rain. In fact I thrived in it.
So like any non-biased rational fan – I assumed that would translate over to the team I now love and support.
Boy, oh boy… was I wrong.
Don’t Blame The Rain
Weather is never an excuse for a poor performance because as it turns out both teams play in the same location so the same weather affects both teams equally. Science, crazy I know.
This breakthrough may come as a surprise to the sports novice, so when your team has a bad play due to a strong wind or a wet field, it turns out the other team also deals with this on the other end.
Weather may seem like a good excuse for bad performance but stay strong and ignore the inner voice. Wash away the weather excuses and focus on everything else.
The only thing I will say on that subject is that it looked like FC Cincinnati had never played a game or even practiced in the rain. Perhaps the posh bubble they practice in during inclement weather is spoiling our boys.
We are a team built to defend as a unit and use our speed to counter attack. The rain took that option away.
The speed we usually have on counters was gone. And we just don’t have a team that can possess the ball and break down another team over time. Yet.
I was happy to see Frankie Amaya make his debut. In fact, that was one of the main inceptives to stick around for the full 90 minutes.
Although he didn’t come in and save the day, he did look like he belonged on the pitch. For an 18 year old kid, that was very encouraging. He was connecting on passes and trying to come up with ideas.
He and vet Kenny Saief played well together in limited minutes. That is a partnership that I think could becoming something great right up until the time Kenny’s loan runs out and Frankie impresses in the U-20 World Cup and we sell him to the highest bidder.
This upcoming weekend we play a team I hope we can emulate.
Sporting KC doesn’t go out and make the big money signings. They get very good players for a good price and they play a system that works.
It may take a year or so for this to happen but I hope we will. For now we will have to rely on our defense and counters.
This is what it means to be an expansion team. We will have days when our plan works to perfection and then we will have days when the heavens open up and a deluge of water and wind change everything.
All I know is that I plan to be part of it no matter what… even in the rain, screaming in The Bailey in my waterproof galoshes.