I came in to work smiling yesterday, for the second Monday in a row. And I didn’t come in smiling just because we won, like many thought—because the first thing to come out of anyone’s mouth was “RSL didn’t play well.” The point is, while that is true, the fact that we came back from behind a goal might mean more than the fact that we won.
Over the last few years, there have been three types of games that I expected any time I watched RSL play. On a good day, we might get in a goal or two at some point and actually hold off for the win. On a bad day, we might fail on holding onto any type of lead and finish in a draw or never have the lead at all and lose the match. On an average day, we’d do just enough to keep a shut out, but not enough to get a goal. So, when Colorado scored in the 29th minute and RSL still hadn’t done enough to get one in by the 80th minute, I chalked it up as a bad day and left it at that.
Then something rare happened—things went our way. Wingert’s shot on goal was blocked by the arm of Jared Watts, and we earned a penalty and Watts earned an early trip to the locker room. It all happened so fast, that it took me a few seconds to take it all in, and even then, a part of me didn’t think that RSL would tie the game. Then Lennon scored minutes later, and I actually jumped from my seat for the first time in months of watching RSL. Still, my heart sank when I saw that we had 4 minutes of stoppage time to get through before anyone put this one in the win column.
It seems a little surreal considering how poorly we played, but we haven’t won two games consecutively since August, and in order to keep myself from getting too hyped on Petke, I talk to my workmates about the importance of this win. We are finally above the red line, (which means nothing in April) but it feels good to see for those of us who expect RSL to be there. Yura and Petke congratulating Brooks Lennon during his post-game interview is a level of commodore that was a sight for sore eyes. To pull a quote from Weston Jenson, “During [our winless streak,] individual arguments between players broke out on the pitch (see Yura Movsisyan and Javier Morales’ penalty ‘discussions’) and obvious player discontent (see Joao Plata’s and Juan Manuel Martinez’s cantankerous substitution exits.) The Claret-and-Cobalt’s players were unmotivated, and the previous management could do nothing to inspire or convince these athletes to believe they can succeed.”
So, if your work friends are having a hard time understanding why you went in smiling on Monday, point them towards the importance of this win instead of the way we played. We can always fix mistakes and know that our team will do the same, but we can never win back three points after the game is over. I have no doubt that many of us will look to “that Colorado game in April” as one of the most important wins of the season.