If you hadn't heard, the New York Red Bulls have quietly put together an 18-game unbeaten streak in MLS, which is one game shy of the league's all-time record.
The streak has been quiet because between the 16-game run that carried the team to a regular-season Eastern Conference title in 2016 and the two wins that have started RBNY's 2017 league campaign, there were a series of stinging losses. The string of good results in the league didn't count for much in the 2016 playoffs, where the Red Bulls lost home and away to Montreal Impact. And they didn't help in CONCACAF Champions League, where RBNY started 2017 with a meek exit in the quarterfinals.
So while the team is one game away from tying the all-time MLS record for consecutive unbeaten games in the regular season - a record held jointly by Columbus Crew and FC Dallas - it's not really the top priority for RBNY. Yes, it would be surely be nice to take something out of Seattle in Week 3 of the current league campaign, and if the Red Bulls do then "the streak" will rapidly become the MLS talking point for whatever length of time it takes before the team does lose again in the league.
But don't expect to hear much from RBNY about it in the immediate future. It simply isn't what concerns or motivates the team at the moment, as Sal Zizzo told reporters at the team's last training session before it traveled to Seattle:
There really hasn't been much said about [the streak]. There's been a lot of games in between there - including the playoffs last year and Champions League - that we haven't come away with the results that we would have liked. So, we're not really thinking about a streak because it doesn't really feel like one, you know what I mean?
Yeah, it's pretty incredible to look back on what we've done, but we're not really focused on that.
Head coach Jesse Marsch got the same question from the same reporters, and pivoted neatly away from it to one of his preferred subjects: the methodical, process-driven approach he favors as a coach.
I haven't mentioned [the streak] at all. I think everybody is aware of it but it's more about being ready for this match.
We were on such a good run last year for a long time, and if we can build on that and continue to push again this year - I think that we like our team. We've obviously had a good start from a results perspective, but we know that we have a long way to go to be the team that we want to be.
But there's clarity. That's one of the best things about having a group that's been together for a long time and the way that we go about our business here - it's about creating clarity on the field so that guys can go out and, in a confident way, go after the game, because they know what their roles are and how they fit into the team. So we'll continue to push that and hopefully there will be a lot of records we can break here in the near future.
The Red Bulls are on an 18-game unbeaten streak in MLS. But they're also on a 21-season streak of not winning MLS Cup, US Open Cup, and CONCACAF's club championship. Trophies are what the team wants. If records come with them - great. If not, so be it.