Every day my children find a way to send me up the wall by the end of the night. I countdown the moments til they’re finally asleep, no longer wreaking havoc on our home. But a funny thing happens when they finally drift to slumberland: they turn into a blank canvas. Instant angels who I can project all hopes and dreams upon. ‘Look at him so peaceful and serene. Future president? Hard to bet against this dozing genius.’ That’s FC Cincinnati’s offseason. Our sleeping soccer team toddler that’s everything we imagine it to be.   

Lucho is here, and so are my renewed hopes. Kevin Wallace is not walking through this article’s door, I promise you. This is a safe space for believers in FC fandom. With a #10 locked in and added to the record breaking Brenner signing, I’m choosing to break free of the chains of past failure and get X rated with 2021’s possibilities. Last week’s scrimmage vs Loisville not only doesn’t count, but as far as I’m concerned, never happened. 

You don’t need more reasons for skepticism, it’s been hammered on for months. You don’t need the approval of national pundits, its only impact is on your mood. You most certainly don’t need logic, since this is sports we’re talking about. You do need money, and FC has it by the butt load. Nobody else is splashing the cash the way Lindner and Co. have done this year.  Carl has unloaded his ‘Nailed It!’ money gun with two massive moves that only the hardiest of haters could possibly begrudge. You will find glass half empty opinions on both our new DP’s (Yes I say ‘our’ and ‘we’. You can do that if you’ve spent 500 hours meme’ing on behalf of a team) if you seek them out. You can easily stumble on a take that could ruin your day. Don’t let it! It’s dream time baby!

Watch a few minutes of Lucho Acosta’s highlights, and not just his DC United golden era ones. No, go watch from his most recent season with Atlas FC. He very much still has it. Lucho has shown more flash and flair than every FCC player combined over the past two seasons. He’s not filling the shoes of past creative midfielder’s, he’s basically a time traveler showing neanderthal’s what shoes are. This team, without Lucho, struck fear in my heart. Repeating the past seemed all too possible. Acosta is not a typical soccer savior, but for this team he very much is. A true playmaker who can put the ball where Brenner needs it and can make magic all for himself? I need to take a cold shower. Yes things have changed that much, I promise.

So much of what I write takes on the tone of ‘Don’t listen to them! Listen to me!’ But what I’m really suggesting is to listen to your beating heart. Follow it without question. 2020 was joyless for so many reasons, and 2021 has a real chance to be so much better. We know how to deal with failure, there’s no need to practice for it anymore. Glass half empty? That’s for them, not for us. Caress the orange mane of our dear sleeping Gary. For the first time ever, they might not drive you mad when they wake up.