21 December 2010

DC United: Reinvented

Yeah, I found one with the stars
Alright, so this past season for DC United kinda sucked for me. As a fan, it was really disappointing to see my team lose 20 out of 30 matches. The worst part of all of this is knowing exactly where this team has been in its 16 year history. I found a picture with the four stars for a reason, signifying just how many MLS Cups we have won. Yes, most of them were over 10 years ago ('96, '97, '99' and '04 and runners-up in '98), but to know that the Black-and-Red have the winningest history in the MLS and then go and be at the very bottom of the table in the 2010 season sucked. Royally.

However, during this off-season, United has been the most active (apart from the expansion teams, of course) in reinventing their entire organization. Nine players in, six players out.

    • Dax McCarty (Trade with Portland)
    • Joseph Ngwenya (Re-Entry Draft Stage 1)
    • Ethan White (U. of Maryland)
    • Josh Wolff (Re-Entry Draft Stage 2)
    • Steve Cronin (Trade with Portland)
    • Rodney Wallace (Trade with Portland)
    • Jordan Graye (Expansion Draft to Portland)
    • Danny Allsopp (Released)
    • Juan Manuel Pena (Option Declined)
    • Barry Rice (Option Declined)
    • Brandon Barklage (Option Declined)
    • Carlos Varela (Option Declined)
    • Jaime Moreno (Option Declined)
    • Troy Perkins (Option Declined)
Dang. A look at the outgoing players list and you can see a huge list of players that had playing time in 2010 (only one I don't recognize without looking up is Varela). We've lost a veteran and MLS legend in Jaime Moreno (long live #99) and even before the SuperDraft in January, United is guaranteed to have more than 50% new players come mid-March when First Kick comes to us American soccer fans. To say that new full-time head coach Ben Olsen is making his mark on this team would be an understatement. Luckily, we've got the MLS Rookie of the Year Andy Najar that signed a long-term contract with United, meaning he's sticking around for a while (by the way, don't mention the ROTY thing to Sam...he still thinks Tim Ream should've gotten it). 

I'm super excited to see how Olsen reshapes this team. With new assistant coach Pat Onstad, I think this coaching crew is going to be working overtime to get this team in shape for our home opener in March. I think it's really exciting to see all of this happening in the off season, knowing that DC can only go up. Once the SuperDraft comes and goes and I get some more information, I'm going to attempt to see what kind of formation and Starting XI we can see don the classic black and red jerseys in March.

Here's to a better season! 

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