We knew it could be coming, and this morning, it came. Dwayne De Rosario has been suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount for his apparent headbutt of Danny Cruz in the team's last preseason game. Right now I'm fighting the urge to indulge my righteous indignation - no disciplinary action for last year's Philadelphia Union fracas (read: brawl) in a preseason game, no indication that any action would have been taken if this had happened earlier in preseason, no extra discipline for Osvaldo Alonso's dangerous tackle this preseason on Chris Tierney.
But the team won't be fighting that urge. They'll be embracing that renewed chip on their collective shoulder. That chip that Ben Olsen has meticulously groomed just so since the start of last season. Nobody outside of the DMV thought this team could make it into the playoffs last year, and Ben Olsen made sure his charges knew they were being overlooked. So they went out to prove everybody wrong. When DeRo got hurt last year, Benny made damn sure everybody in his locker room was aware that they had been written off. And his team went out and proved the world wrong again.
Home field advantage taken away? Red Bulls don't want to play in a little snow? Forced to go to Houston on essentially one day's rest? Chip. Chip. More chip. And that chip has been aging like bourbon all winter - maturing, mellowing ever so slightly, but with a little extra kick from Ricardo Salazar's swallowed whistle. And now this. Best believe that Benny has the guys saying their prayers before bed every night: "This is our chip; there are many like it, but this one is ours."
You bet your ass these guys are going to be pissed about DeRo's suspension. And, as they did all through 2012, our boys in black will use it as motivation to claim a scalp down in Houston this weekend. And at RFK next weekend. And in New Jersey the weekend after that. United will probably be starting a new face as a result of the suspension. But whether that's John Thorrington, Kyle Porter, Marcos Sanchez or somebody else, the whole team will most definitely be playing angry. And Houston won't like us when we're angry. MLS won't like us when we're angry.
They can't hold us back.