Save the Bird!
Mark it down. The 11th minute of game number 7 is when D.C. United's season was saved. In that moment, the stadium came together to save the life of a small bird who had been stranded on the field.
The bird had been on the field since kickoff, and it was clearly struggling - as were United. After conceding to go down 1nil, the bird - clearly depressed - planted itself on the pitch right in front of Section 130 and refused to move. As DCU made an attacking move, the bird was nearly flattened by a Revs player. Whether or not the bird was kicked, or not, by a Revs player is only hearsay at this point.
If anyone has information related to the incident involving the bird, please send tips to email@example.com It was in this moment that there was an audible gasp - almost a shriek - from the crowd. All joking aside, this was the loudest moment of the game until this point. Unsure if the bird was dead or alive, Section 130 began chanting, "save the bird!". The chant slowly spread through the west stand. In a moment where there was nothing to cheer for on the pitch, the bird gave life to the stadium. In return, the fans' support seemed to give life back to the bird, as its wings began to flutter.
I'm not sure how the referee became aware of the bird; I like to think it was through the crowd's chant... but in that moment, he made the correct decision to halt the game. Several players then approached the bird, and it flew away into the South Stand and down into the concourse. A true miracle.
Call it karma... call it witchcraft... call it whatever you want. But after that moment, D.C. United came alive and produced their best game of the season.
In terms of match analysis, all I have to say is TAXI FOUNTAS. The man was a problem. He was literally everywhere, with every forward move going through his feet. It seemed like he was playing central midfield, striker, and winger all at once... reminiscent to the scene from "The Patriot", where Mel Gibson ambushed a British road march all by himself, and established his nom de guerre, as "the ghost". It was a similar performance from Taxi. He was everywhere!
Could the Revs keeper do a little better on Taxi's two goals? Probably.... But that's what happens when you create chances and hit the target. And his chip to assist Estrada's goal?
I think we have something here with Taxi.
One last note on the team and our fans. Justifiably so, many of our fans decided to boycott the match in the Chico Stand. It's hard to describe just how different the atmosphere was. Audi field was quiet.. and there was almost a somber feel to it. Impossible not to notice the loss.
That said, the DCU fans in attendance tonight did themselves proud. Everyone recognized that the supporters section was gone - and the other sections picked up some (not all) of the slack. For the first time this season, many sections outside of the Chico Stand were participating in songs and encouraging each other, and the team, forward. It was really something to see.
I felt like there was a cohesion between the fans the players tonight. They knew they were in a difficult spot, they knew they needed the fans... and both the fans and the players delivered. Somewhere into the 8 minutes of stoppage time Julian Gressel and Steve Birnbaum made a fiery appeal to the fans after winning a goal kick in their defensive third. It was the most passion I've seen from any DCU players this season. I think that moment showed that these players feel the criticism and maybe felt the outside pressure on them after the Losada firing. Tonight they showed all of us that they care about the club, and they care about the fans. At the end of the day - that's really all that we want.
If we get more passion like that in every game, I'll be in my seat every game. While I understand the stance from many of our support after everything that has happened... I hope to see the Chico Stand back in full voice again soon. If the players are willing to fight like they did tonight... they deserve our support.