It's actually rather appropriate that D.C. United will visit Real Salt Lake this weekend, just on the eve of beginning play in the CONCACAF Champions League. After all, Rio Tinto Stadium was the site where the Black-and-Red won their berth in the regional tournament by triumphing over RSL in last year's US Open Cup final. There's not a whole lot I need to say about this game other than watch the video and smile.
But I'll still share some thoughts as I relive the one and only Really Good Moment from 2013:
- I must have been too euphoric last year, but I had almost forgotten about the blown red card on Nick Rimando for what was a clear DOGSO foul when he took down Conor Doyle. Looking back at it now, the referee's decision makes complete sense - not because it was right (it wasn't), but because the man in the middle was Juan Guzman. Yes, that Juan Guzman, the noted coward. Maybe we shouldn't have been so surprised this year when he continued to shrink from the big calls.
- LEWIS NEAL! LEWIS NEAL! I have my doubts about whether he'll be back on the team next season - not because he won't still have value, but because the "promotion" of Orlando City SC to MLS makes me think there's a good chance he returns to his former club - but he's still scored two of the biggest goals for United in recent memory, and he'll never not be worthy of the allcaps treatment.
- We managed to shut out RSL with a back line starting Chris Korb, Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic and James Riley, 75% of whom are no longer with the club (for good reason). I don't have words to properly convey the elated/confused/glad-we-moved-on-but-still-nostalgic emotions I'm feeling writing this paragraph.
- God, Bill Hamid is so good.
Of course, this was tournament play, not league play. But DC beat RSL the last time we played them in MLS, too. Rather than just reminiscing about Lucky Trophy 13, I'm curious: what's changed in your life since United lifted Lucky Trophy 13 last October 1? I'll give my answer down in the comments - join me.