RBNY Optimist: The Rite of Spring

Staff Writer, RBNY

rbnyoptimistWhat is it that they say about March? “It comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”

It starts out all cold and dreary, with those early nights and frigid mornings, but as the end of the month approaches, small hints of Spring appear. The days subtly get longer, aided of course, by the change of daylight savings time. The grass gets slightly, almost imperceptibly, greener and more robust. And as we hit April the sun feels just a little bit warmer, with the promise of warmer days ahead.

March was kind of like that for our beloved New York Red Bulls. Starting out with two brutal matches on the West Coast: one a tie that felt wholly unsatisfying, the other a loss featuring two late daggers through the heart, the last being a particularly hard and cold way to give up points.

At this point, however, like a lot of things in Mid-March, things started to turn, with hints of warmer, happier days ahead. The home opener ended in a tie, but felt like a win of sorts, as our boys dominated for most of the match in front of a large and vocal crowd. And Red Bull Arena felt like home again — especially if you live in a home that gets newspaper deliveries every morning from men who jump out of helicopters in flying squirrel suits.

The next game, in Montreal, our boys brought some heat to the chilly North as they won the battle for possession but not the war. (A side note on the lunacy of soccer statistics: how does a team get 20 “open play crosses” to their opponent’s 4 and still lose the game? Well, poor finishing…but still!)

Then, just as the month ran out of days, the Red Bulls earned their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over the lowly Philly Union. Most promising/inspiring moment being Thierry Henry coming off the bench to attempt an audacious bicycle (just wide), followed by a quick touch and goal off a pinpoint cross from “This is Peggy…” Luyindula.

And now, finally, Spring has sprung. The days are noticeably warmer and the team is following suit. The pieces are coming together. Luyindula is particularly intriguing as he works himself into shape and starts to show flashes of the class that got him onto the PSG roster to begin with. Personally, I’m salivating at the prospect of seeing a healthy Henry and Espindola paired with an in form Luyindula up front. And right behind them — like Fourth of July follows Memorial Day — Tim Cahill making those late runs into the top of the box.

SPRING is in the air – and on the Red Bulls pitch; a time of promise and rebirth. The pieces are all there and we can see them, slowly budding and turning green as they prepare to come into full bloom and grow lushly throughout the entire Summer.

In the great words of those immortal poets, The Jackson Five:

If you look around
The whole world is coming together now
Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it?
Feel it in the air, the wind is taking it everywhere
Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it???

I can. I really can. Can you?