So, I was thinking about this on the walk into work this morning.
In 2008, we had an unbelievably mediocre season and make the playoffs by the skin of our teeth. But then we go on this crazy run and end up in the Cup final - with the opportunity to win our first ever silverware. On one hand, LA was the absolute time of my life. In terms of all time moments as a supporter of this team, I'd put it right up there, if not #1.
On the other hand, I said heading out there that if we didn't win that game, the Cup run would have been the worst thing that could have happened. We knew the manager had to go and that the players truly weren't good enough to compete - another year of JCO and a reinforced belief to ownership that this squad could compete would be disastrous. Well, 2009. We all know the story.
I think there is a fundamental sameness to this situation but the stakes are now higher. Regardless of where you place the "majority" of the blame, Armas holds a decent amount of it. This has to be his last season. But ownership needs to step up their game big time if they ever want to compete again seriously. The last 2 Cups have been won by teams that have ownership groups willing to drop serious $$ in into the first team. We look well on our way to it being a 3rd year in a row. This is a new phenomenon in MLS . Shep was right last night when he said look at the names on the Golden Boot list and look at what RBNY are relying on. MLS has changed - and if we don't start investing in the first team shortly, I fear it will be difficult to catch up to those that have (and what I mean by this, look at the $$ Almiron generates and how that's a positive cycle for ATL).
So, it's a weird spot. Fundamentally, I do not think this team is good enough to win it all. Not by a long shot. We beat Philly (this seems entirely plausible) and we go to ATL. Do I expect to win there? Very much no. So, we get by them - then it's (most likely) @ NYC....then at LA?
But what stage do we get to in the playoffs where ownership stays complacent? What's better for us in the long run? I finally, finally see a majority of people realizing what many of us have for years - that this ownership group is not fucking good enough and calling them out for it.
I'll never want this team to lose, I want to win the Cup - but I fear any sort of run and people will let these fuckers off the hook.