It's the 88th minute of the World Cup final and I'm standing at the top of the box. The US and Malta have played a hard fought match and are tied 1-1. Wondo has just been fouled and it's up to me to take the PK. Somehow I know that if I miss this kick, the US will lose. I'll be damned if I'm going to let Malta raise OUR cup tonight. I'm too focused to notice that there is no sound until the referee blows his whistle. The ball is in the back of the net before I even realize I've taken the shot. My US teammates surround me in celebration until we hear the ref call the kick back. "What happened?" I ask somberly. Clint Dempsey looks at me with sad eyes, "Roy Miller," he says. "Roy Miller happened."
9:24am: I'm shaken awake by my Fiancee. She tells me I was crying in my sleep. She asks me if I was having "that dream again." I nod my head. "It was Roy Miller," I say. She tells me I need therapy.
10:57am: After spending the last hour on Twitter, Reddit, Metrofanatic and Once a Metro, I'm convinced I know exactly what will happen in the night's match against the Montreal Impact. I lay it all out to my fiancee (she's the only one who will listen). I tell her all about how our back line can't contain Marco Di Vaio. I explain that we have no attack and how I'm sure that Alessandro Nesta is going to shut us down completely. I work myself up into a near panic attack. She tells me to relax. She tells me that we're going to have a great game. She then tells me that I suck and she calls me an asshole. She's got some wit.
12:45pm: With the game quickly approaching, I find it hard to maintain concentration. During an episode of HGTV's Love It or List It, I catch myself evaluating the current New York squad. Connor Lade? Love him. Digao? List him. Peggy Luyindula? The jury is still out. I need to get out of my apartment.
2:20pm: We're sitting outside, eating lunch at some generic Irish pub in the Financial District. The Guinness is flat, just like our performance against Colorado last week. I tell my Fiancee as such and she asks if it's possible to get a divorce before we're even married. I can tell she's joking because she just sculpted an incredibly lifelike bust of Mike Petke out of a block of some kind of white cheese.
4:30pm: On our walk to the World Trade Center Path station, we are stopped by a group of tourists. They see our Red Bulls jerseys and ask if we are giving away free cans of the energy drink. I try to hide my irritation as I explain that we're on our way to a soccer match. "New York has a soccer team?" one of the tourists asks. I curse and spit on the ground. Another tourist asks if I can take their picture. What a dumb world.
4:45pm: A group of Montreal supporters is congregated just outside of the entrance to the Path train. They see us in our kits and begin singing some song about Red Bull being bullshit. I think about countering with some chant about "picking a language," but decide against it. Instead, I applaud their stupid chant and hurry down to the train platform.
5:30pm: While sitting outside of Red Bull Arena, I get the sudden sensation that we are going to win this game. My fiancee tells me she's known we're going to win all week and that my sudden sense of confidence probably has more to do with the three beers I've housed in under twenty minutes. "I'm nervous" I tell her. "I know," She says.
7:09pm: Kick off. All my anxiety is washed away. Nothing to do now but watch and wait.
7:17pm: ERIC ALEXANDER!!!! He might look like a character out of some Bukowski novel, but that was a beautiful goal. Seriously though, he needs to clean himself up. He looks like he is permanently unemployed and crashing on someone's couch.
7:25pm: Thierry Henry slots one home from the end of a perfect cross by Fabian Espindola! Things are looking a little too good right now. I tell my fiancee that it's only a matter of time before the back line implodes. Just wait.
7:57pm: It was a good first half. It will never last. This thought is confirmed by another member of the Viking Army as I wait in line for the bathroom. Where's the Red Bull Optimist when you need him?
8:28pm: Okay, this is starting to border on parody. Tim Cahill just headed in his fifth of the year. I can't tell if we look great or if Montreal just looks really, really bad. Maybe it's both?
Time Uknown: PEGUY LUYINDULA FINALLY SLOTS ONE HOME!!! Thierry Henry hands off a penalty kick to the struggling French striker in the 88th minute. Hold on...Peguy wears number 88....what wonderful devilry is at work here? And why am I thinking about Simon Borg all of a sudden? No matter, I love this game.
10:30pm: We're finally home. I spent the majority of the train ride back to Brooklyn explaining to my fiancee how I "knew all along that we'd cream those jerks from Montreal." She allows me my moment of self satisfaction and decides not to mention just how sick with worry I'd made myself earlier in the day. I turn my TV to MSG to see if they are going to air a replay. They're showing a Hall and Oates concert instead....and here I thought this day couldn't get any better.