We were naïve back then.
And so, so young.
Yes, when we made fifteen fearless New York City FC predictions one year ago, our eyes had never been wider, nor brighter. We didn’t walk; we floated. We harmonized with the birds. Our skin was springtime-soft, and our predictions weren’t much harder.
But that’s all over now.
Now that the quick MLS offseason has given way to the 2016 preseason, it’s time to revisit those year-old prognostications, warts Nemecs and all.
Welcome to the Day of Reckoning.
#1: The club will sign another Designated Player this month.
- That month was January 2015. New York City’s very special bearded man did not arrive until summertime. VERDICT: False!
#2 New York City FC’s first league goal will be scored by a central midfielder.
- Mix Diskerud’s picture-perfect curlazo was the first Blues goal on an MLS scoresheet in last year’s opener in Orlando. To be fair, even though Mix ended up playing most of the season as a bizarro-right winger, he did play up the middle in that famous opening game. VERDICT: True!
#3: More than once, numerous mainstream New York media outlets will expose themselves as soccer-ignorant or soccer-belittling.
- This has always happened, and I don’t know why we thought NYCFC would change any of that. I am ashamed by this, and withdraw this prediction in solemn respect. VERDICT: Solemnly withdrawn!
#4: A controversy will arise over Yankee Stadium’s infield dirt, as to whether it can be regularly altered for soccer purposes in a timely manner.
- With all the numerous and totally legitimate gripes about the soccer surface in the Bronx, the turnover time didn’t turn out to be a popular topic in itself. That didn’t stop Yankees players from going all complainy-pants, unfortunately. VERDICT: Kinda basically false!
#5: New York City will go on at least one streak of four or more games without a win. Losses will equal or outnumber draws over that span.
- I was a younger man then. Just a boy, really. In the cold light of day, let’s recall that last year’s famous eleven-match winless run included four draws and seven losses. VERDICT: Highly true!
#6: George John will reveal that his middle name is yet another first name.
- George John’s middle name Is on the loose and unaccounted for. It is considered armed and dangerous. VERDICT: Armed and dangerous!
#7: Jeb Brovsky’s mustache wax will go missing, instigating a cross-country rampage of justice. The defender will earn multiple yellow cards and tens of thousands of Twitter followers during that period.
- Not a single photo of Brovsky published in 2015 could remotely suggest that the Colorado native’s mustache wax could have EVER been unaccounted for. Unfortunately, Brovsky logged only two yellows on the season, and his generally excellent Twitter account is nowhere to be found. VERDICT: False!
#8: A post-rampage Brovsky will convince at least one teammate to go vegetarian.
- We asked Jeb about this in June, and he had nothing to report. But hey, maybe he convinced somebody late in the year? Maybe he guilted Lampard into making the switch by trolling him about shotgunning meat pies? VERDICT: Incomplete!
#9: Three Manchester City players will go on loan in New York. Two will be essentially youth players, and the third will be Scott Sinclair.
- It’s a good thing Sinclair stayed in England, because he probably would have scored nine or ten goals and helped New York City with their width problem on the way to a half-decent playoff run. Angelino and Shay Facey did come over from Patrick Vieira’s Man City youth pipeline to acquit themselves reasonably. VERDICT: Only half-wrong!
#10: A high-ranking member of the New York Yankees organization will say something marginalizing or disparaging — not necessarily intentionally — about NYCFC in reference to its tenancy in the Bronx.
- The Yankees brass toed the party line very effectively here, presumably aided by their utter ignorance about the game. Keep it up, lads! Of course, many of the Yankees’ players couldn’t have been whinier about sharing their stadium with a local soccer club team that included multiple players more famous than any active member of the Yankees. VERDICT: False!
#11: A soccer-specific stadium site will be rumored as confirmed during the first half of this year, only to be later disproved.
- To be fair, this happened basically every day for over a year. VERDICT: Kinda!
#12: A couple of team nicknames will begin to gain traction. We’re going with the Towers or the Empire.
- What a disaster. Such basura caliente. As far as we’re concerned, most towers aren’t known for their one-on-one skills against fast midfielders, and the Empire was destroyed by the Rebels in 1983. In the meantime, I’d like to start calling Mix Diskerud “The Force.” VERDICT: Disastrously false!
#13: NYCFC season ticket-holder, TV producer, and Men in Blazers co-host Michael Davies will become an early and visible mega-proponent of the team. Club brass will take notice and parade him around in public.
- Another gross miscalculation! The people at the club probably don’t know who Michael Davies is, which makes a stunning amount of sense when you weigh the merits. VERDICT: Meritoriously false!
#14: One New York City player will receive major roster consideration for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but not for the United States. Mix Diskerud will play in the tournament for the USA.
- Where in pluperfect hell were we going with this one? Some mystery player that NYCFC never signed? Ronald Matarrita? Yeah, let’s go with Ronald Matarrita. VERDICT: Matarrita!
#15: Following public statements from Manuel Pellegrini, a trans-Atlantic tug-of-war will arise over yet another New York City player.
- While it’s probably true that the specter of this type of horror taking place will never go away, not a single conspiratorial yarn of this magnititue ever made it beyond the tabloids. But if Villa starts dumping goals and Manchester City stupidly thinks it can go win the Champions League… VERDICT: Juuuust kidding! False.
* * *
Time to tabulate the results! Here’s how we did:
TWO predictions were true. TWO were kinda true. ALL ELEVEN OF THE REST were irredeemably false.
I remember this percentage amounting to an F when I was in school, but we’re gonna declare victory anyway. Hey, we can’t suppress all these positive vibes, what with the regular season just five weeks away. In fact, we’re gonna sing. We’re gonna dance. We’re gonna get schwifty. And, just like Frank Lampard after that first bite of pie, we shall be simply unable to stop.
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