When I woke up this morning I made sure to check the internet to confirm that last night's result was not a dream. We really did win. We really did get 3 points. For a few brief, placid days the Revs will occupy 7th place in the East. And I won't complain.
I'll admit, after our game against the Union I thought for sure that we'd hit rock bottom. I thought it was over. Do I think that this DC game was the point at which the Revolution will turn their season around? No. But the Eastern Conference is a fickle, unpredictable wheel of fortune, both good and bad. All I'm saying is that anything can happen.
We've got some chances ahead of us to make some big strides if we can pull off what we did last night. After Colorado this weekend we travel to Kansas City on the 30th, Columbus on August 13th, and then host the Dynamo for a revenge match on August 17th and of course get another crack at New York on August 20th. All I'm saying is that there are chances to make a run at this Eastern Conference table. Will we make something of those chances? I'm not holding my breath. But that is of course some pseudo-optimistic looking forward, for now let's take a moment to look back on the game that snapped our 9-game winless streak.
To begin, I'm sorry, Stephen McCarthy, for every harsh word I've had for you in the past. You may still not be an exemplary player nor an extraordinary rookie like AJ Soares, but anyone who wins a game for a desperate team like you did gets a standing ovation, even if it's from my living room. Bravo, sir. God bless you.
Despite McCarthy's game-winning header, I still don't think he is doing our midfield any favors. Nor do I think Phelan is either. Which makes me wonder who I'd truly rather see Benny Feilhaber replace when he returns this weekend against Colorado. I suppose you have to take out McCarthy and keep Phelan in there purely for the experience that Phelan has under his belt. Whatever happens, having Benny back will (hopefully) be huge; looking forward to it.
I think that the number one thing I took away from this game was the decision to start Zack Schilawski. Hats off to Steve Nicol for realizing that he's been pretty ineffective coming on as a sub and that he was due a start. I thought he had a great game, although sticking him on the left wing was certainly not ideal. Why not put him in the 4-4-2 paired up with Lekic instead of Mansally? WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN TO ME???
Speaking of Lekic..... ugh.... I don't know if I even want to get into it. Rajko, Rajko, Rajko.... What in the world are we going to do with you? I'm glad we've graduated past the "he needs service" arguments, because that has been proven wrong pretty effectively. I'm starting to wonder if this guy can only score goals on accident. You know what? I'm sick of beating a dead horse. It's unfortunate that no one has the gall to stick him on the bench, so I guess we better just hope for a few more accidental goals.
Besides Schilawski playing a good game and Matt Reis being the obvious MVP, I think AJ Soares deserves a heck of a lot of credit as well. This was one of his better games, I thought. He shows a lot of tenacity and leadership on the back line there and, most of all, I think he has an air of maturity that really demands respect. He made some pretty great plays and might be the only player on our defense who knows how to clear the ball out.
Oh, and someone's got to show Kevin Alston how to keep the ball in bounds.
Chris Tierney, I cannot praise you enough. I swear, almost every time the ball leaves his foot I audibly say to myself "nice ball". Even Nyassi had a couple decent crosses; one to Schilawski who headed it wide and one to.. well.. nobody. But one out of 2 ain't bad right?
All in all, there is a danger with this win that hopefully all Revs fans realize. This game provided no answers. It offered no true comfort, save for a few blissful moments. It's a welcomed sigh of relief in the midst of what most will most likely consider a lost season when it is all said and done. It doesn't look like any help is on the way as far as a DP goes and there isn't much else to look forward to other than that distant glimmer.
So, that's that. Here we are. Was DC a fluke? Probably? Have I been wrong before? Frequently. Come on you, Revs. Make us all eat our words.