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FC Dallas: Minor League Ball
In the heart of Gatsby’s Valley of Ashes, A blue and white firebird, the likes of which never seen before, rose from the dust and ashes as a symbol of hope and transformation.
It boggles my mind that the rest of the league doesn’t get that we, as New Yorkers, DGAF any longer about our temporary stadium situation. Each social media department becomes oh, so clever, with the baseball memes. And almost every time, the scoreline does not treat them well. FC Dallas came to play ball and walked away with a lesson. Queue the excuse of a small pitch. Get over it. Play the pitch you are on. You’re professionals. I don’t hear cries of a tight pitch when a Premier League team loses at Craven Cottage.
As for the play on the pitch, there is something special strengthening in Queens. I love Yankee Stadium. And I wish that the new stadium was being built in the same neighborhood. But I can't deny that there is a distinct energy in Queens. It might just be the same dynamic as when you go on vacation. The slightly different experience, seeing different people, eating at different venues, energizes you. The experience resets your habits. Sitting with different people than you do in your normal sections, patronizing different vendor options, the tailgate, and the acoustics all turn the amplifier to 11.
The play for the last two weeks has been exciting and inspiring. Taking a page from Ted Lasso, this season was one in which I put aside my expectations..."It's the hope that kills you." And yet, seeing this side start to connect, seeing Nick Cushing doing Nick Cushing things, AKA the manager stuff, and seeing NYCFC quietly get results against the teams that other pundits list higher in terms of quality, has made keeping those expectations low difficult.
Taty found his foot against Real Madrid. And in a BIG way. Taty scored a haul, beating Real Madrid 4-2.
It took Santi all of about five minutes to figure out how to play an effective and dangerous false 9. The play between the three forwards was fluid, exciting, and dangerous.
Sands is becoming the rock of the midfield that allows Keeton and Ledezma the ability to go forward and support the attack.
Ilenic likes to come forward and has the legs to get back on defense when needed.
Barazza’s (AKA the Big Banana) touch map this match was on par with our midfield (73 touches. 66 for James Sands and 55 for Keaton). He needs to catch more balls instead of punching or parrying them, but he keeps earning his starting role. 70.6% save percentage through 9 matches.
Fan Experience Rankings Week 9
This week’s scran, Pig Beach Brisket Sando and a Bases Loaded Blackberry Lemonade with Bourbon. The sandwich was tasty, but a bit dry and small for the prices. I tend to prefer my brisket sliced instead of in chunks. The lemonade was excellent but not enough so that it changes the table.
The porchetta sandwich retains the top spot in week 9 as does the Cucumber Lemonade.
The porchetta sandwich from Marc Murphy’s Porchetta (CitiField)
Brisket Sandwich, Mighty Quinn's BBQ (Yankee Stadium)
Shake Shack (Citi Field)
Bobby’s Burgers (Yankee Stadium)
Cucumber Lemonade (Citi Field)
Beer Selection (Citi Field)
City Winery (Yankee Stadium)
From James Nalton, some stats supporting the argument that being a different type of Keeper than Johnson might be exactly what the team needs.
Andrew Leigh brings some more positives to light.
Corey points out an impressive stat for our Big Bird.
And finally closing out the theme from the top… Fitzgerald created the term Valley of Ashes to compare the life, poverty, and harshness of the working class to the polished, manicured, softer lives of the wealthy portrayed in The Great Gatsby. I love the fact that, after being attempted for decades, NYCFC will help transform what was the Valley of Ashes into an entertainment venue incredibly accessible to those who make New York City, New York City.
As NY is Blue states… a blue and white dream is rising from the ashes.
The pigeons activated firebird mode.
And now for a long road spell of away games…
The Man in Seat 9