Here it is all our hopes and dreams for the 2015 season are alive for another week following the Montreal match this past Saturday. Our entire season hinged on the outcome of that game, as did our hopes and dreams for a successful inaugural season in Major League Soccer.
Forget that, let's all be honest here: making the playoffs and competing for a championship would put a smile on our faces, but what would make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Beating New York City FC, that's what! Not just demolishing them in a match, but ultimately looking down on them in the standings as well. This feeling doesn't come from hatred or jealousy--it comes from a sense of right vs. wrong and knowing that Orlando City was built the right way.
Two clubs would enter this MLS season as expansion sides, is it coincidental that the same year the expansion sides enter MLS we also see the comeback of Star Wars? Yes, it is. But, the analogy can be made that this year has not just reintroduced the world to The Empire and The Rebellion, but MLS has also introduced the clubs that would represent those parties within the league.
The comparison between the two new expansion sides and the greatest saga ever told is now official. Its really not that hard to see: NYCFC comes into MLS with all the power and money that can possibly be had within the universe. They are backed by what many see to be as the evil empire themselves from the Premiere League in England: Manchester City. This team rolled into the league without roots in North American soccer, without a plan for building a soccer specific stadium, and without a following willing and able to represent their club on the national stage. They entered the league with money. That's it.
This Empire doesn't go the normal route of building from the bottom up, starting in the lower leagues and moving up while along the way fighting tooth and nail for respect. They didn't need to do that--they can just throw money at anything and usually land on whichever side they choose.
Compare that to Orlando, The Rebellion. OCSC, does not have the same financial backing, nor do they have the same (apparent) support of Don Garber--not to say that he's Palpatine. No, it has something much more valuable, a city ready and willing to follow their team into any fight and stand alongside them not only on the peaks but also through the valleys.
The comparison even gets deeper. The face of Orlando, Kaká can be seen as a Jedi among his peers, he one of the best players of our generation and an equally good person. We are talking about a player who has been described by some as "just a really nice guy... in a profession of arseholes."
We now have the chance to see the climactic battle between the Rebels and the Evil Empire. The MLS version of it--the one being played in Orlando--can be seen on Oct. 16. Orlando will just have to learn to deal without its Jedi Master, who will be serving a one game suspension.