The quasi dark side of RBNY fandom.
Even though I predicted a 1-1 Draw from the game at Portland, I can’t help but feel that two points were dropped in the season opener. The first half showed an opportunistic Red Bull team that gave me some hope for the season. The second half looked a lot like last year with one glaring exception; Petke used some of his subs. Although I would love to see the new boss have instantaneous success, the first game was a reminder that we are in for some growing pains.
When I went to the Red Bull season ticket holder event in New York City last week, I was surprised by the amount of direct access that the public had to the players. It was a great event but a few thing things caught my eye. The first was the obvious outcome. Henry and Cahill attracted the most attention from the fans. Large masses of people surrounded them and only the truly dedicated were going to get through. I passed. The second was very interesting to me. A great majority of the players stayed in a couch area behind Henry and Cahill and seemed almost happy to watch the fans adore the two stars. As if they were spectators themselves. After some time, McCarty, Barklage, Meara, Pearce and Robles broke out of that spot and set up their own little islands of supporters. All were very cordial and talked with fans pretty openly.
Upon watching the game Saturday night, I got the sense that many of the players were looking at their two stars to carry them through the onslaught that Portland brought. Unfortunately on Saturday, Henry and Cahill seemed to shrink and not shine late in the game. Petke’s main job is to manage his personnel and how well he does it will determine the success or failure of the season. We are in need of at least eleven individuals that combine to make a team, not two stars with their adoring teammates. At bare minimum Espindola seems to want to make his mark. I’m just glad he cut off the pony tail.
It is still very early in his tenure. I’m willing to give Petke time to sort things out. He showed he’s willing to make changes and that’s more than I could say for Backe. Growing pains or not, I believe that our coach will figure it out. I never had faith in that before.