Normally with the "win now" Red Bulls, sitting three games in with two points and with one of the highest payrolls in the league there'd be some cause for alarm.
But it's doesn't seem so. It just doesn't feel like there's the same aura around the Red Bulls this season as there was in past years.
Maybe it's team legend Mike Petke behind the bench. Maybe it's Andy Roxburgh and Jerome de Bontin, with whom it seems the team is in good hands. But whatever it is, everything feels like it's looking up. Everything seems weirdly positive.
What probably helps more than anything is the general understanding that growing pains do come with a new front office, new coach and new roster. And as the team works through those growing pains, there have come positives and building blocks on the way to playing up to the team's potential. It all seems like it's on schedule, too, which is nice.
The two games before the Red Bulls match-up with D.C. United this weekend, the Red Bulls built up to what's being called a dominating performance. The ball just didn't go into the net, Saturday, but that's about the only place they failed (sure, the most important piece, but still...)
So here we are, the Red Bulls are fresh off a great-but -goalless performance that took them two games to get into. They're 0-1-2, but fresh off a game that could prove to be a turning point as the season continues.
Not that the Montreal Impact are pushovers, they're a surprising team and a trendy early-season pick to win some silverware. And it's not as if the Red Bulls are particularly good on the road the last few years, they've been pretty iffy. But the team has taken steps each of their first three games. The next step is a win.
No, it won't be easy sans Thierry Henry due to injury, Tim Cahill due to international duty and possibly even Juninho, but if they can grind out a win, they'll be right on schedule.