Okay, let's put my other thoughts on hold. There have been discussions regarding the start of United's season, and how it might take time to integrate all the new pieces. That we shouldn't panic if we have the same 0-3-1 start that we had last season. Well, with the release of the 2008 Schedule, I'm willing to say panic is a decent option. Your first two months:
MARCH: @Harbour View, Harbour View, @Kansas City
APRIL: Toronto, @RSL, Columbus, RSLEven with our slow start last year, we still got into the semis of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and I demand the same this year. That gives us five MLS regular season games, during which United was 1-3-1 last year. Our opponents last year were @Colorado, Kansas City, @Columbus, New England, Chivas. Those teams finished 2007 at 1.17, 1.33, 1.57, 1.67, and 1.77 ppg respectively, for an aggregate of 1.5 ppg when you consider them all.
Our first five MLS opponents this year had ppg of 1.33, 0.83, 0.9, 1.57, and 0.9 ppg respectively, for an aggregate of 1.11ppg. I know, Toronto brings the noise, RSL is a banana skin team for us and is better with the Argentinians, and Columbus is not as bad as people think. Excuses all. The fact remains that we are playing only one team that was in playoffs last year, and last year we played three. Even if you don't want to think of this as an easy opening schedule, you have to admit that the games, on average, will be tougher than this the rest of the season.
United may struggle and drop points in their opening five matches. Fine. But starting 0-3 or 1-3-1 is not, and should not be, acceptable. We are being given an opportunity to get things right before things get tough. We should take advantage of it.