Why are we in a panic, people?
I mean, not everyone is in a panic. But seeing reaction to Saturday's 2-2 draw against Philadelphia Union sure gives that sensation. All over, people are fretting about dropped points and how that could affect our standings at the end of the season.
Which is fair, really, because we all want to end the season with the most points. That Supporters Shield is something we really do want, and rightly so. But looking at any given match and being dismayed at what could have been the case six or seven months down the line? Let's calm down.
First, there are some obvious mitigating factors to consider. We have an entirely new coaching staff, barring Cassar in his new role. We knew that could give us a slow start to the season, but frankly, it hasn't really been the case. Still, a new staff does help explain some of the slight disorganization we've seen defensively.
Additionally, we've been dealing with a plethora of injuries to start the season. It's been a real hassle, too — Nick Rimando's been out now for two matches, Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert both missed a match, Joao Plata's been out for a few weeks now, and Luis Gil has been struck by the injury bug. That's not to give an excuse, but to give context for what we've done so far.
The big thing, though? We're in a better position than we were last year at this time. Yeah, we've dropped eight points with our four draws. That hurts a bit, and some of those (mostly this weekend's) were winnable. But in 2013, we dropped 11 points in our first six games, and that turned out alright, didn't it? Now, 2011 and 2012 both saw us with five wins and only one loss in six games, but our end-of-season record floated around the same point.
The point is, really, that while we haven't been perfect to start the season, and while it sure would be nice to be perfect, there are other things that should be occupying our attention right now. Lamenting every dropped point as the difference between us and the Supporters Shield come the end of the season will do us no good.
By all means, if you want to panic, go ahead, but before you do, just step back, take a breath, and relax. It's a long season.