A Successful Season Ahead?
I see it now. A cold December day, a parade, ending at Seaport Drive. 20,000 Union fans all cheering as Brian Carroll lofts the MLS Cup.
Zoom back to mid June. After a training injury meant that Roger Torres started in the opener against SKC, the Union are sitting pretty. Zac MacMath has had a good first half of the year. The defense is solid, and Bakary Soumare has shown us that maybe Nowak was right to make sure he is a Union player. Sheanon and Gabe Farfan have bombed forward to help the attack, and Gabe improved his defensive ability. Parke is an All-Star just like the guy he replaced.
Torres has been pulling the strings in midfield, being the creative spark that Adu was supposed to be. Michael Farfan has had such a good season that Martin O’Neill is desperate to take him to Sunderland, but relegation for the Mackems mean that Farfan turns them down to stay with us. Brian Carroll and Amobi solidify the midfield, and control most of the games we play.
Up top, Jack Mcinerney scores at every opportunity, and has just replaced Le Toux in the starting XI. Connor Casey has more assists per minute than any other forward in MLS. A new Dawn in Antoine Hoppenot’s life makes him even more of a threat off the bench, and the Sons of Ben roar the Union to a 100% home record. The Red Bulls are coming to town in a week, and Henry has just been suspended for fighting with his own team-mates as the Red Bulls languish at the bottom of the East.
Then i wake up from my dream. I realize that the season is starting soon enough that i’m counting the hours instead of the days. However, my dream is what i feel needs to happen for the Union to be successful. How much of it will happen depends on Hackworth and him ditching his love of players that run non-stop but have less technical ability than someone like Torres. Realistically, i haven’t seen anything from him to suggest that he will do that. Even though results mean nothing, in the pre-season games it’s been a repeat of mistakes from last year. From not using his subs correctly, to strange formations that simply didn’t work. Hopefully i’m wrong about this, as there is a lot of talent in the team that if used properly may well compete this year, maybe getting another US Open cup run and a chance to make the playoffs.
Other East teams have improved. The Red Bulls got rid of Marquez and the drama he brought. DC United have brought in Ruiz, who should get plenty of chances when he plays due to the creativity of De Rosario. Columbus will hope to continue their late season improvement now that Higuain and Arrieta are there from game 1. Chicago improved, Montreal will hope to follow our success in their second season. There’s no doubt that right now we are outsiders for a playoff spot, considering i didn’t even mention SKC and Houston above. However, i remember feeling the same way in 2011.
No matter what, i just can’t wait to be at PPL with 16,000+ like minded Union fans, and hoping that my dreams come true.