Three years ago today, New York City Football Club was born.
It's appropriate, in a way, that the club's third birthday coincides with the first game of the Hudson River Derby. Major League Soccer intended all along for there to be two teams from New York in the league. That it took nearly 20 years for it to happen is a long story in and of itself, but it finally came to be.
Later today, nearly 50,000 people will fill Yankee Stadium; some will wear red, most will wear blue. All of them will urgently proclaim their need for their team's victory. Nothing will make this birthday sweeter than crowning it with a first-ever victory over the Red Bulls, who are unbeaten, unbowed, and defiant in their dominion over the Derby thus far.
Nothing will mark the club's startling, sudden ascension into the top of the Eastern Conference more spectacularly than a victory this afternoon. Expect delirium if that happens. Conversely, nothing will stoke frustration more than yet another defeat at the hands of the Red Bulls. Never have the Blues been so finely posed for victory.
It is within their grasp. Will they seize it? That answer we wait, with equal parts hope and apprehension.
Happy birthday, Blues. Now let's make it one worth remembering.