Saturday, August 25, 2007


I’ve been a fan of the MetroStars/Red Bull New York franchise ever since its inception over a decade ago. In that time, there is an art phrase used by diehard fans to describe the team’s performance over the years:

“Same Old Metro”

Simply put, it is the inevitable letdown/collapse the team suffers after reaching some high point.

There are far too many examples of S.O.M. over the years and include:

  • The infamous Nicola Caricola own-goal during the first ever Metro home game.
  • The seeming inevitably of a shootout to decide Metros’ first playoff series in 1996…only for Rob Johnson to concede the series-losing PK to DC in the 89th minute.
  • Youri Djorkaeff scoring a second goal to apparently clinch a playoff series in 2006 over the Revolution…only for New England to score 3 unanswered goals in 15 minutes to win the series.
  • The chance to extract vengeance against DC a decade later in the playoffs with the series tied 1-1 in aggregate goals…only to have Christian Gomez score with four minutes left in regulation.
  • The failed promises from the likes of Ruben Dario Hernandez, Lothar Mattheus, and Alexi “superteam” Lalas.

The list can go on and on, but I bring up the concept of S.O.M. because I’m left repeating that phrase endlessly in my mind after tonight’s cruel 2-1 loss at New England.

It had been one week since what has thus far been the game of the year, if not ever: the 5-4 home win during the maelstrom that was David Beckham’s debut in the NYC area. It was an absolutely magical match to see nearly 70,000 strong at the Meadowlands while each team fought it out. Yes there was a notable contingent of Beckham groupies (*cough* Tom Arnold *cough*) and the defenses for both teams were atrocious but it was an uplifting game that RBNY won. Despite knowing that the next two games wouldn’t be a cakewalk there was the blind faith and optimism that perhaps the team could turn the corner once and for all. Even one point out of those games would've been encouraging.

Instead S.O.M. reared its ugly head during the lifeless effort at DC on Wednesday. (Dear god how I loathe Jaime Moreno).

And S.O.M. showed up once more in tonight’s heartbreak loss at New England after Carlos Mendes’ smashing game-losing own-goal in the 80th. (With Jon Conway’s complicity, of course).

Normally I’m a bit angry after New York loses. But tonight I feel shell-shocked and numb. The notion that maybe it’ll get better has yet to cross my mind. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic but once again the specter of S.O.M. got the better of me. I should’ve known better.

Ultimately, I know that a week from now I’ll join roughly 1,000 other fans in watching RBNY on MSG next Saturday. In a way it’s masochistic to keep dancing the same dance but one of these days S.O.M. must go away.

(Assuming that it will, that is).

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