Alan Green said it best: "If we can take this show on the road, we'll be all right."
The Washington Diplomats' RFK Stadium show could play Broadway indefinitely. The club has won seven straight games there, picking up 61 of a possible 63 points during that streak. What's more, each victory has been prettier than the last, Johan Cruyff orchestrating an offense that has been potent.
But the question remains: Can this team produce consistently outside of RFK Stadium? Because, if it is to be a factor in the NASL playoffs, it is going to have to win on the road.
"There's really no reason why we can't do it, is there?" Green asked rhetorically after scoring two goals to raise his season total to 22 in the Dips' 5-1 win over Tulsa Wednesday night. "This team loves playing at home. We try hard on the road but we seem to be missing something. If I could put my finger on it, I'd know what to do about it."
As of now, the Dips are content with their five-game winning streak, four of those coming at home and the fifth a confidence-boosting victory in Memphis. Washington has one more game left on the current road stand, Saturday at 8 p.m. against Toronto.
"It's a crucial game," Coach Gordon Bradley said. "We still haven't clinched second place by any means. This is really an 18-point game."
Translation: the Dips, who lead Toronto by 17 points, 124-107, for second place in the NASL's National Conference East, can open up what would in effect, by a three-game lead with five to play by beating Toronto. Or, they could have that lead cut to one if the Blizzard wins.
After Toronto, the Diplomats face three tough road games -- Minnesota, Vancouver and the Cosmos.
"We should be able to play like this at home or on the road," said Wim Jansen, whose move to sweeper five games ago has been a key to the team's resurgence. "We're playing much more organized now; we're creating space. When Johan has the ball, he has three or four different options. It's hard for the other team to decide which way he's going to go with it."
Lately, each Cruyff decision has been correct. Since declaring a month ago that he was going to organize less and score more, the 33-year-old Dutchman has scored seven goals and totaled 10 assists.
On defense, the midfield is playing better and Tony Crescitelli has done wonders for the front line with nine goals in 12 games as a starter.
"It's exciting to see this club play this well after all the rough times we've been through over the years," said Steve Danzansky, who has been team president for five of the franchise's seven years. "Seeing this man (Cruyff) do what he does is a special thing."
Defender Robert Iarusci, perhaps the teams most underrated player the last two seasons, signed a 1980 contract early this week after protracted and sometimes bitter negotiations. Th e deal is for this season only and is believed worth about $65,000. Iarusci's signing leaves Carmine Marcantonio as the only unsigned Diplomat.