I was working my ass off, frankly, and so I didn't get to blog about the game at the Civic Sta - oh, sorry, PGE Park - last Thursday.It was a terrific game; scoreless until the 83rd minute when Ryan Pore dove to meet terrific service from Doug DeMartin and headed it past the Puerto Rico keeper, the Boys made the goal stand up and the crowd of 15,000-some went home singing and happy.But it was a poignant moment, too, as it was the last game in the old barn for the team that has played there since the first year of this decade. Next year the team will return, but as part of the highest U.S. division, Major League Soccer, and likely with many new names on the back of the jerseys. The players on the field Thursday night, many of them, were there for a reason. Many of them had tried, and failed, at the top flight.In a sweet gesture many of the fans brought sunflowers and their formal dress to celebrate the end of summer, and the end of a meeting of place, people, and deeds we have treasured, both the good and the ill of, and will look back on with the sort of lingering goodwill we hold for things loved and lost, not through tragedy but merely though time and the rise and fall of tide.There will be new joys, and new heartbreaks to come, and we will surely return to the new pitch and cheer the new players. But I didn't want to talk about that. That's for next season, and a new spring, and new hopes and dreams; the perennial hopes and dreams of all players, and all fans, and all people, at the outset of any endeavor.
No, this time I'm just thinking about the last bright golden sunflowers of the summer, and the happy farewell to much that I have loved and will not see again.