A brief history of the New York Red Bulls vs. Team XXX
Aug. 15, 2009 New York Red Bulls 0 - 2 XXX: RBNY LOSS
Sept. 26, 2009 New York Red Bulls 1 - 1 XXX: TIE
Apr. 10, 2010 New York Red Bulls 0 - 2 XXX: RBNY LOSS
June 5, 2010 New York Red Bulls 1 - 0 XXX: RBNY WIN
May 15, 2011 New York Red Bulls 2 - 3 XXX: RBNY LOSS
July 16, 2011 New York Red Bulls 1 - 1 XXX: RBNY TIE
May 23, 2012 New York Red Bulls 1 - 1 XXX: RBNY TIE
Aug. 25, 2013 New York Red Bulls 2 - 3 XXX: RBNY LOSS
Mar. 30, 2014 New York Red Bulls 1 - 1 XXX: RBNY TIE
When is a draw more than a draw?
A draw is more than a draw when your team is about to lose to a team it is expected to beat.
On Mar. 30, 2014, the Red Bulls had no business losing to XXX. But XXX had our number for years. RBNY had one win against XXX in the previous five seasons. And in all those five seasons - with the possible exception of dreadful 2009 - team XXX was not one that had any business lording it over the Red Bulls with such consistency.
Who is that franchise?
Yup. Post-playoff glory Chivas. The bad Chivas. The lawsuit Chivas. By Mar. 30, 2014, it was basically known the Goats would be the first team since the Tampa Bay Mutiny (yes new MLS fans, that was an actual franchise) and the Miami Fusion (them too) to fold - that Chivas. Heading-toward-extinction Chivas.
In March 2014, those sorry Goats held a 1-0 lead at Red Bull Arena going into stoppage time. This was the first month of the season after RBNY won the Supporters' Shield. The Red Bulls hadn't lost a regular season game at home since June 1st, 2013 - when Vancouver provided the shock that spurred RBNY into a run of 10 wins from its remaining 18 matches that ended with a trophy.
These Red Bulls losing to those hapless Goats: it wasn't supposed to end this way. Not this game: the last time RBNY played Chivas USA; a team that had finally shaken off the burden of its past is not supposed to lose to a team about to slump into the past tense. It was not supposed to end this way.
In the 95th minute of this game, off a corner kick, Peguy Luyindula made sure it didn't.
It was just the second goal he had ever scored for RBNY - a scuffed header that bounced off his shoulder and into the net - and it was glorious.
You vanquished Chivas, Peguy. You made us cheer for a clutch goal in way we'd get accustomed to over the course of the 2014 season: the season you scored some of the most important goals in RBNY history.
But we didn't know this was foreshadowing in March 2014. We just knew we didn't want the memory of being the best team in MLS to be whisked away by one of the all-time worst before the sun had set on our first month as reigning Supporters' Shield champ. We just wanted a goal for a draw that would feel like a win.
And you gave it to us. I miss you Peguy.