It's almost here. About 24 hours from the time this publishes, the Citrus Bowl will be packed to the brim with 62,000 Orlando City SC fans ready for a once in a lifetime experience -- the MLS debut of our beloved Lions as we play host to New York City FC.
Now, I'm not here to preview the game. Andrew Marcinko did a fantastic job of that for you already. I'm here to figure out what in the hell is going on up in that city they call New York, the Soccer Blunder of the North. And maybe to throw a little shade.
It's hard to know what to make of NYCFC. As an expansion from scratch project, brought to us by way of the pockets of Manchester City and the New York Yankees, they've yet to make their MLS debut. But even when they do, we won't know the whole story. Frank Lampard isn't allowed outside until he's finished all his tea and crumpets.
It would be hard to blame you if you weren't real familiar with what NYCFC has done in the preseason. They don't even have their own YouTube profile. No, you'll need to check out Manchester City's profile to see any NYCFC stuff.
That's not all they've "borrowed" from mommy and daddy -- I mean, from their owners. Everything about their logo screams "Bought not Built."
Sporting Manchester City's sky blue, paired with the New York Yankees' navy blue, this logo features almost exactly as much creativity as New York pizza (it's cheese, sauce, and dough. It's good, but let's not pretend it's anything special, OK?)
While Orlando City SC has broken ground on its new soccer venue for next season (everyone remembers #WeDigPurple, amiright?) our Yankee enemies will be playing their home games in -- you guessed it -- Yankee Stadium. Yep, a baseball venue. As for long-term plans? I hear they're checking out some plots in Imaginationland.
We're looking at a club with no stadium of their own, a designated player that would rather be on the other side of the ocean (ever been to New York? I don't blame him) and a logo that looks like it came right out of a focus group full of people that have no idea how to spell the word "design."
While 62,000 rowdy Orlandoans pack the Citrus Bowl, New York is struggling to crack 30,000 for their home opener. Orlando's population is just over 255 thousand. New York City has a population of over eight million.
Just to clarify for any New Yorkers that may be reading this, 8,000,000 > 255,000.
Wait...just to clarify for any New Yorkers that may be reading this, ">" means "greater than." You're welcome.
While Orlando fans are rejoicing with how well the club, the new players, even the star player, have clicked with the city, New York doesn't seem to mind, or possibly even know, that they don't have a soccer stadium or one of their DPs.
In an attempt to get on the "inside" and see what their supporters group was saying about the upcoming match, I went to www.thethirdrail.nyc to have a look. Unfortunately, most of the site is password protected for members only. This is probably a good thing, as New Yorkers generally make me want to headbutt a wall.
The people there believe in the team, despite all this. Tomorrow we prove to them that no, just because you made it in New York does not mean you can make it in Orlando, Sinatra be damned.
This is the Soccer Capital of the South, the Jungle of the Southeast Sea, the City Beautiful. Tomorrow, New York is a bit player in Orlando's story.
And don't forget, tomorrow, Molinomania runs wild.