Man, beating Vancouver last Saturday was a relief. At seven games and counting, the winless streak that victory snapped threatened to submarine New York City's season before it got properly rolling. You could see the relief -- much more than joy -- blanketed all over the stadium, within and without. Fans celebrated in the streets. Players, David Villa most of all, laid prostrate on the outfield grass.
Now comes a road trip; three games against stout opposition. Tonight, DC. Next week, Portland, the defending league champions. Finally, Toronto FC, who have quietly gone from laughingstock to contender.
If New York City lay claim to representing a possible future for MLS -- oriented towards the world, part of a larger, globe-spanning conglomerate -- then DC United resolutely harken to the league's past. They play in a rockpile of a stadium, deploying what many would consider an archaic style of play. United were the original MLS hegemons, ruling the league with an iron fist. Their motto - "Tradition" - says it all.
The Blues will be tested tonight. We'll see if they pass.
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