The Five Billion Person Party

Notes of a wandering American soccer fan

Okay, we’re not average

Posted by steigs on October 6, 2008

I recently suggested that DC United fans found this season puzzling because, for once, we had an average team.  Based on games like the 3-0 loss to Chivas USA this weekend, I was wrong.  This has turned into one of our “we suck” seasons and we’re likely to miss the play-offs completely. 

What’s that?  You think we still have a shot if we can win a couple of the last games?  Let’s see, our next game is on the road against the two-time defending champion Dynamo — and it appears that we won’t have Gallardo, Emilio, Fred, or Moreno.  In other words, pretty much all of our creative players.  (Go Quaranta and Doe!  Make something happen!)

It’s time to consider next season, I’m afraid.  Does a team playing this badly need to be blown up?  Or is this all about the long injury list from this season?  There was a stretch this summer when the team was mostly healthy that they looked pretty decent.  Is Gallardo likely to be on the field more next year?  How about Fred?  Or Emilio? 

If we think we’ll see more of them, I’m actually inclined to give this cast one more shot.  For one thing, DC United will have a lot fewer games next season — no early season CONCACAF Champions League, no summer Superliga for us — which could make a difference for the older players.  For another, we just saw how badly drastic surgery can go awry. 

Does that meet coach Soehn should take the fall?  Perhaps.  It was clearly a rough start to the season — but that seemed to be about poor off-season personnel decisions.  How responsible should we hold him for those?  Me, I’d be inclined to give him another year — if you’re largely keeping this bunch together.  But it’s entirely possible that those closer to the situation think the team isn’t listening to him.  To me, it looks like they’re still fighting (most of the time) but often playing confused.  That could be the fault of the coach, of course, but it could also be the result of the endless chopping and changing forced by injuries and those initial poor off-season decisions.   

Who would we hire instead?  Richie (“ABMOD”) Williams?  Harksie?  I think Stoichkov might be available if you want to scare people…

Sigh.  And I was so much more optimistic a couple of months back.  At least there’s the US-Cuba game at RFK to look forward to…

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