Cushing out. Deila out, Dome out. Vieira out. It must be June in New York. Two different matches were played yesterday; those with hyper-critical vision saw a team in crisis. Every failure to score an indictment of Cushing and Lee. A team that deserves to be derided, jeered, and informed that they have to win. They must win. As if that thought hasn’t occurred to them. Then there are those of us who saw a team wiping off the dust of the mid-week failure, ignore the fact of losing a starter due to some yet to be released accusation, and put in a gritty performance. We saw a well-played match against one of the top keepers in the league who did his job well and if not for a lucky assist from the woodwork, would have added a loss to his tally.
The only indication of poor coaching that I saw was that the team is not quick enough in transition or in moving the ball up the pitch. They tend to go to the lateral pass rather than push forward and attack. They also tend to think a bit too much when on the ball. Those decisions need to be a second faster.
But people see what they expect to see. The youth soccer teams that filled the surrounding sections saw a match where they chanted and cheered, shouted and screamed. All for the love of their club. Kids see the beautiful game. They focus on the game part. They enjoy the experience. Adults see something that needs to be fixed. Frustrations that need to be shared. And a loss or draw is seen as a personal offense.
It’s easy being a supporter when the team is winning. We all came into this experience back in 2015 without knowing what type of team we would support… top of the table or relegated in any other league. Fortunately, we were given the first. But it is in how we handle our side having a down season that shows our true nature. What type of supporter are you or wish to be? Do you scream at the moon, thinking that you actually have agency with the Front Office, or do you understand how fickle the game actually is and choose to support the team, and each other, when we’re at the bottom of a cycle.
#NYCFC Twitter is only a fraction of the fan base and out of that only 50 or so of us are really active and vocal. A few more than most. And quite frankly, it’s getting boring. If you have a different opinion from one of those who want to burn the team to the ground during any stretch of poor form you are either not a real supporter, don’t expect the best out of the team, are an apologist, or don’t really know the game.
I offer another perspective. Maybe, we are just as passionate, just as knowledgeable, and love the badge the same amount. Maybe the difference is that winning is secondary to why we pay the cost of admission. Maybe our demands are more simple. Our only demand is that the team play with heart and leave it all on the pitch. That we are able to enjoy the experience of live professional football with others who love the sport. And that the team recognizes our love for them and the badge and respects us enough to give it all knowing that we are committed. Win, lose, or draw, we will have their back. We will criticize their level of play, but in the end we will still stand up for them, even the coach. This is MLS. Not the Prem. No one deserves to be fired mid-campaign for a bad run of play during a season of reconfiguration. And those who disagree with others on the bird site do not deserve to be mocked and derided because they have a different take on what it means to be a supporter.
The Man in Seat 9