The sky is falling! Wait, no it isn’t.

Whew. Well, that’s $700 I’m glad I didn’t spend.

That’s approximately what I would have had to shell out — based on recent scheduling changes in my life — to have made it down to New England for yesterday’s tilt with the Revolution.

While the traveling Reds supporters were in full voice, and the experience surely would have been a fun one, ultimately I’m an “it’s all about the game” sort of guy. It’s why even two boozy evenings in Montreal — including plenty of delicious, salty food and a trip to Supersexe — can’t wipe the bad taste of the Canada/Honduras in 2008 game from my mouth.

So ultimately, it’s for the best that I was unable to go. Because, seriously, what the fuck was that?

I’m not exaggerating in saying that, upon looking at the starting 11, I had several “who the hell is that?” moments. Not even “I’ve never seen him play, but I knew Toronto signed him” moments… actual “I’ve never seen that name before, who the hell is he?” moments. And I write for a fucking soccer blog (albeit not a very well-researched one, apparently). It didn’t help that Julian de Guzman and Sam Cronin (who, believe it or not, is seemingly now a core element of the squad, in his sophomore season) started on the bench.

But having this early-season confusion isn’t inherently a bad thing. If the squad is being built in such a way that Preki will be able to institute an effective, winning system, then it’s worth taking the time to learn the names (and how to pronounce said names) of the folks on the roster. There’s no guarantee it will. And there’s no guarantee it won’t.

So while the game itself was ugly — especially since a lopsided loss in a mostly-empty NFL stadium evoked painful memories of last year’s season finale — I’m really not very worried. Yes, a loss is a loss, and if TFC finishes one or two points out of the playoffs again this season, every dropped point will be equally culpable.

But if being blown out of the water, in the second game of the season, while the squad is still finding its feet, is what it’ll take to avoid the persistent, soul-crushing, final-15-minute letdowns of the 2009 campaign, then it’s worth it.

Again, there’s no guarantee that’ll happen. And there’s no guarantee it won’t. One game does not a season make. One win doesn’t get you into the playoffs. One loss doesn’t keep you out of it. There are 28 more regular-season games to go. If, in September, we’re still looking at a “who are ya? seriously, who are ya?” roster (and Nick Garcia) and these sorts of performances, then it’s time to get out the pitchforks and flaming torches.

But for now, knee-jerk reactionary apoplexy is misplaced, useless and counterproductive. It’s frustrating to see games like last night’s take place. But for a team to actually be built — rather than patched together — there will need to be early-season stumbles. Am I giving Mo Johnston too much credit? Am I being too kind, based on the last three seasons of futility? Perhaps.

But the alternative is another ongoing stream of Band-Aid solutions… a new batch of mid-season Laurent Roberts, Olivier Tebilys, Carlos Ruizes, etc. etc. — who may provide a momentary pop, followed by a fizzle.

There’s no guarantee that this new approach is superior to the old one. But again… yeah, you get it.

In any event, this is MLS. As FC Dallas showed last season, you can stink up the joint for the first half, but you’re one hot streak (on the back of one hot striker) away from being right back in contention.

So, TFC faithful, calm down.

Admitting that last night’s game isn’t the end of the world is not the same as praising MoJo and Preki for a job well done. It’s simply an admission of reality: it’s far too early in the season to be making conclusive statements about anything surrounding this team. Or any team.

Let’s see how it looks a month from now. Then we can decide whether or not the sky is falling.

And if it isn’t, well, $700 may not seem like such a big expense anymore.


One Response to “The sky is falling! Wait, no it isn’t.”

  1. david kent Says:

    I like your attitude, Rome didn’t burn in a day so hopefully everyones tempers can wait for a day. i think the squad is better now, last year Robinson can’t pass brennen kept lofting stink balls to the forwards no mid field,now i like the left back and i see improvement in the mid field,dave

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