Literally minutes before the New York Red Bulls went and made their match against Columbus Crew SC interesting by scoring a stoppage time goal, I was writing a post where I was going to blast the team for their poor play (I still will a little bit). But, I have to say, that goal by Anatole Abang (who hasn't played in who knows how long) drew me back in.
I had groaned "oh no" when the team scored. Not because I had resigned myself to a Red Bulls loss. It's because I knew they had me back in. My wife, who suffers through my fandom and writing for Once a Metro, turned to me and asked if I wanted the team to lose. I told her of course not, but I knew I couldn't take what was coming.
Then, Bradley Wright-Phillips almost pulled me in even more. He got his head on the end of a last minute cross that hit the post, but if the goal was a few feet to the side, oh man, what could've been.
I'm of course upset at the result. The Red Bulls were not the best team over 180 minutes despite being the Supporters' Shield winner with their highest ever point total. Despite two goals against D.C. United, they handled their business. The path was ripe for their high press to lead the way, and it would've worked, if only they were better at completing passes in the final third and not giving up cheap turnovers.
No matter what this team does, I'll be back next year. I'll be back for more heartbreak, because that's what sports is. Only one team gets to advance. If we were better, it would be us and Columbus fans would be in our position. At least it was a hell of a ride this year.
I know this wasn't your typical recap that we do after matches, but I can't imagine trying to do a normal recap right now. It just doesn't feel like a match that deserves one.