With the season over for all but four remaining teams, MLS coaches and owners are doubling their efforts this weekend to help ease the sting of loss for their players.
Bruce Arena's assistant coach, Dave Sarachan, addressed his team saying, "I just want you guys all to know that you are all doing such a good job. I mean it. Think about how you played last year as compared to this year. Don’t look at the wins and losses, look at how much you learned and progressed. Think about how well you played as a team."
When asked by Omar Gonzalez if he really meant it, Sarachan replied "Yeah buddy, of course I mean it. We’re all super proud of you." Gonzalez was then handed a tissue so he would stop wiping his nose on his kit.
"Don’t give up on yourself Omar. Give soccer another year and see how it goes. Don’t let tough times drive you away from something fun."
Bruce Arena reportedly had no comment as he is busy touring the beaches of Malibu.
In New York, Don Garber met with New York City FC (NYCFC) players to pass out orange wedges and talk to them about the end of the season, "I know I’m not your coach, and I know this year has been really hard for you guys. Lots of change, huh? I want to make sure you guys know that it has nothing to do with you. It’s not your fault at all. Sometimes coaches and owners fight and sometimes they decide that what’s best for the players is to split up. You know what? I think you guys are really going to like Patrick Vieira. He’s a really fun guy. But you don’t have to call him coach right away if you don’t want, it’s ok. But I think once you get to know him and once we get on a real soccer pitch next year, you’ll have lots and lots of fun again."
In Vancouver, after a heartbreaking loss in front of their own fans, Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson talked to his team. "Listen up guys, it’s really important to be a good loser, but you know what? You need to be a good winner too. I see those Timbers over there dancing with their fans and I know how much that hurts to see. That isn’t very nice of them and I hope their coach yells at them about it. But you know what? There are jerks everywhere in this world. Sometimes you just have to learn how to live with them. I’m just so proud of you guys for being the bigger team today. Despite the fact that you, in fact, lost in front of your home fans you are all winners to me!"
The Nutmeg News will have more on this as teams pick their head up, go out for ice cream and pizza, and work on their home room project to take their mind off the last week.