Ancient Romans had a tradition of celebrating triumphs after great victories. These were relatively rare occasions, where the successful general was paraded through the streets of the city along with his armies, the spoils of war, and his prisoners. Great parties followed.
I suppose if we were holding a modern day triumph, it should be Bruce Arena at the head of the parties with his great warriors surrounding him. But I feel more like in our case Il Bruce is the emperor and the Great General we should be celebrating is David Beckham.
What I felt in the stands this evening was nothing short of elation. Half an hour after the game ended, there must have been 25,000 of my fellow fans still with me in the stands, still applauding. Marcelo Sarvas came over and high-fived all my kids. You would have thought they were touching royalty.
The height of this victory can barely be described. We are only the second team to complete back-to-back cup victories (the other, ironically, being Houston). We are now tied with DC United at four for the most cup victories in the 17 year history of the league. We made the unlikely journey from last place in the league to win this cup. It was David Beckhams final huzzah and quite possibly Landon Donovan’s as well (though I am skeptical). I myself hit the panic button a few months ago, only to be shown that our boys could come back from the brink and achieve the ultimate victory.
But there was an ineffable euphoria to this victory. Like something had settled into place in the universe so that through interminable machinations the right result could be reached and everything could be placed in order. It was not merely victory, but satisfaction of a 6 year journey with David Beckham. Certainly the “Beckham experiment” was a success in every way, shape, and form, with or without this victory. But today put a fine point on it. Perfectly capped an era. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. That’s how David Beckham has always done it.
Normally I would now go into a long diatribe about the murky future. Whether Donovan will return. Whether Omar will be sold. But that can wait. Tonight, let’s just enjoy the victory and the satisfaction of a hard fought season. Tomorrow’s battles can wait.