By John Santos
As the 2012 home schedule of 2013 preseason matches ends today (because the season itself ended on September 8th), we’re reminded yet again of what a sad and disjointed campaign our Goats had in 2012. Perhaps that 5-2 loss to Xolos in the preseason was indicative of what the future held. Starting off well, only for the wheels to come off at the most important of times. If it wasn’t bad enough that it happened last year, the Goats once again fell apart in the final 1/3 of the season. They were never the greatest team in the league, but like the tired and beat up cliché from Dumb and Dumber, there was a chance this year. Maybe not for a championship, but to at least make their presence felt.
So with this dismal campaign now in the rear view mirror, what awaits us in 2013? Now full time and 100% owners, Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes are tasked with our Goats fate after buying off the Cue brothers of their stake in the team. So do Vergara and Fuentes take the team and supporters to the promise land of self owned Soccer Specific Stadiums, trophies, and championship caliber squads? Or do they go all Herbert Hoover on us and tell us that everything is good and plan to keep things as they are? Many of us would prefer that first part, but as a long time supporter, it’s hard to fathom any real change. We’ve been promised quite a bit over the years only to see those promises broken and thrown out the window.
What about our players? Is it time for aging vets like Juan Pablo Angel and Ante Jazic to hang up their cleats and let younger players like Jorge Villafaña and Tristan Bowen shine? Should a new, yet equally experienced goalkeeper be brought in to light a fire under Dan Kennedy (who, let’s be honest, played his role in the goleadas to end the year)?
At the end of the day, these questions will be decided upon by the new powers that be. Will the team be sold, relocated and renamed the New York Cosmos? Who knows (though very unlikely)? The best we can do as supporters is to stand by our team. It’s our right as supporters to bad mouth the players and the team personnel when we feel they aren’t performing up to our expectations. But it doesn’t mean we stop supporting them when we take out our frustrations on them. Season ticket purchases will probably be looked at by the new (full time) bosses. But that shouldn’t determine loyalty (yours and mine) as a supporter of the team.
Baring any Mayan predictions, the 2013 season will be here soon enough. For all our sakes, let’s hope the team finally can live up to our expectations and (to steal a supporter’s group quote from a fellow conference dweller) “play like we dream”.