The world as changed quite a bit since one Thursday evening, back on September 13, 2007.
Let’s look back at a few.
I graduated from Cal State Long Beach
America elected its first Black President
Spain won its first World Cup
Jimmy Conrad retired
General Gaddafi was ousted from power in Libya (and subsequently killed)
The neighbors from down the hall as well as fellow 2005 expansion side, Real
Salt Lake won MLS Cups
Seattle broke MLS attendance records
Well, that’s just a taste. To say it had been some time since the Goats last
tasted victory against their neighbors from down the hall, would be an
understatement. And while this examiner was trying to be as hopeful as can be,
history certainly wasn’t helping. Despite it all, the supporters were in good
spirits. Even the ones who support Bayern Munich on the side were up for the
match. The best anyone can hope for is a good result. So after dispensing with
the pleasantries, it was off to the Black Army section. Of interest to many
were two new acquisitions.
In a trade that involved the New York Red Bulls, Heath Pearce was sent their
way (along with a little extra cash) and 19-year old forward, Juan Agudelo came
this way. Also coming this way was defender Danny Califf, whom was acquired via
trade for Michael Lahoud, from Philadelphia. And wouldn’t you know, they both
started the encounter.
Unlike previous Chivas USA vs. “the neighbors” matches,
this one looked even. Gone for the most part were crosses that went nowhere and
the opposition wasn’t firing on all cylinders like the usually did. As with
these kinds of matches, tensions can always rise and get the better of us. It’s
how we deal with these situations that define us as groups. A big supporter of
Non-violence, Black Army members are quick to act to quell any and all
situations that can go wrong. For the point of the group is to support the
Goats above and beyond.
This isn’t to say it’s a bad thing when emotions get the best of us either.
One penalty kick in the 72nd minute (courtesy of 19-year old Jose Erick Correa) and
grown men can burst into tears. Complete strangers can hug in jubilation
celebrating the end of a shutout streak that went back to 2010. And voices can
be lost. As the final 15 (plus 4 additional minutes of stoppage time) rolled
on, palms were clenched tightly, hearts skipped a beat, and breaths were
collectively held whenever the neighbors were fouled, got a counterattack
rolling, or came over to take a corner kick.
As the match concluded, a celebration started that went on for the better
part of 30 minutes. To an outsider everything might have seen as excess. A 1-0
win, early in the season, against a struggling team with injured players, and
the only goal coming only in the form of a PK (though to be fair was originally
going in as a legitimate goal before it found the hand of a Galaxy defender).
But to someone on the inside, it had been far too long. Far too long since on
one September evening in 2007.
The team now heads to New Jersey to take on Heath Pearce and the Red Bulls.
Kick off is this Wednesday, at 4pm. It can be seen on Univision Deportes
(assuming you are fortunate enough to get the station).