Its been a rough month or so for the Steel FC faithful. The team had stumbled out of the blocks starting out at 1-3. This included suffering a pair of last minute goals allowed that turned hard-earned ties into losses. Meanwhile the mothership Philadelphia Union has taken soccer depression to a whole new level and gone winless in their first 8 this season for a total of 16 dating back to last season. Tensions were pretty high in the stands last Sunday as we took it in the chin against Orlando. This was the first game the Steel FC wasn't really in. Another Steel FC loss yesterday could have paralyzed the team's confidence heading into a long upcoming road trip.
Enter this year's most exciting signing, Hugh Roberts. An all-league defender, Roberts joined the team up front on a corner kick in the games final minutes. He proceeded to use all 6'4" of his frame to sky over everyone and win the game on a perfectly placed header. That was certainly awesome, but it was his next decision that took one great play and turned it onto the coolest moment in modern Steel FC history. Roberts made a bee-line toward the Forge. This holding cell of a rooting section of course contains all the faithful East End Army and I-Beam Ultra support group members. What does Hugh do next? He jumps in of course. Captain James Chambers followed in right after him. The blue smoke began pouring and all at once Steel FC players and fans were celebrating as one. The one thing that struck me was how perfectly timed this celebration was. The players deserved it, the fans needed it...or was it the other way around? But it was just so cool a move by Hugh Roberts to take the plunge (first time i am aware of) and let the healing begin. I must also say kudos to the forge for not dropping him!
Speaking of healing, Captain James Chambers made his first appearance of the year in this game. He had been overseas in Ireland for 3 weeks following the loss of his father. He stepped on the field looking better than ever and really supplied a stabilizing presence that went a long way for this very young squad. It goes without saying that he probably got the most healing out of this game than anyone else and that was a cool thing to be a part of as well. So hats off to the boys in blue. This is an exciting line-up and it will be very interesting to see if they can build off this huge win. If it was ever possible for one goal to set the tone for a season this one could be it! Thanks for the memory Steel FC! Keep them coming and we'll be there to take it all in.