2012 End of Season Evaluations

Discussion in 'DC United' started by Boloni86, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

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    Ok here we go. No time to sulk. How do you guys grade this team?

    Hamid 8.5 - May be best pure shot stopper in the league. Pretty mistake free for a young keeper. Still needs to work on the little things like distribution and giving up rebounds. Hope he's a major part of DCU 2013

    Willis 7.0 - Reliable backup. Very calm. I like the long arms cleaning up dangerous crosses. I hope he sticks around for one more year as backup. He still has work to do in his actual shot stopping.

    Korb 7.5 - He's come along a lot this year. Towards the end he was almost channeling Josh Gros. Needs to work on his left foot if he's really going to be a LB in this league. Also needs a couple of extra lbs. of muscle. Hope we keep him ... good bargain.

    Woolard 7.5 - He was an 8.0 at the beginning of the season. Smarter and more skillful than the 2011 Woolard. Too bad for the concussion, but he seems to be OK now if he's on the bench. I see no reason not to keep him for such a low salary.

    McDonald 7.5 - A physical phenom that usually makes up for his lack of technique. Really improved our aerial game and speed in the backline. Just needs to work on passing and doing the little things. I'd keep him unless someone really offers a tempting trade or we scout an upgrade.

    Jakovic 8.0 - I love his game. That's all I can say. I just loooove his game. He's untradeable IMO. His little annoying injuries annoy me, but this year he was healthier than last year.

    Dudar 7.0 - His skill is better than 7.0, but he rightfully lost out the starting spot with the good seasons from McD and Jako. I'm not sure if there's a place on the team for a 31 year old $200,000 backup CB ...

    Najar 8.5 - I know I know his popularity is in the gutter now with the red card ... but I just love Andy. He might of been the best RB in the league down the stretch before the suspension. Untradeable IMO. Third year in a row where he's on the short list for team MVP.

    Russell 6.5 - He had a little redemption in the playoffs, but OMG was he terrible when he was a starter early in the season. There's no place on this team for a 33 year old backup right back making 6 figures.

    Pontius 8.0 - I know I know 12 goals deserves better than 8.0. I just think he fizzled out down the stretch when we needed him the most. Still not sure if he's a left winger or do we just make him a full time striker? Olsen ... figure it out.

    Neal 6.0 - He's a smart simple player but he's sooo slow, weak and not dynamic. Not the kind of guy you want on the wing ... and with his age it'll be even worse next year. I don't want him anywhere near left wing. So I'd get rid of him unless we just get him for minimum wage as central midfield depth.

    Kitchen 9.0 - Team MVP IMO. Once Saragosa came in it really opened Perry's game up. So steady and his growth trajectory is so steep. I can see his game grow from month to month. Big part of DC 2013

    Saragosa 7.5 - A pretty basic player but he was just a 100% tactical fit for this team down the stretch. I think he's got another year in him. Such a steal at his salary too.

    De Rosario 7.5 - So many poor performances this year, but the stats don't lie. Even as he gets older and slower, when he finds space and time he can still change a game. I'm assuming he'll be back since he's under contract and Ben just loves him.

    Boskovic 7.5 - Probably the smartest player on the team. A little too timid and introverted for Ben's taste I think, but he is under contract. I don't think anyone in MLS would trade for him, but if anyone offers a transfer fee, I could see him being sold. If he doesn't get any great offers from Europe, I'd like to see him back for one last year.

    De Leon 9.0 - His overall season performance is only about an 8.0, but that goal against N.Y. has to be worth a full point. Putting all his goals and assists aside, what impressed me the most is the amount of minutes he put in down the stretch. Tough for a rookie.

    Santos 7.0 - Good start to the season, but this is not a starting level striker for this league. I also don't see him being a full time sub, he doesn't have a sub's personality. He's too streaky, unreliable and borderline lazy. Sorry I want to love him because he has game, but he's not a DCU player IMO.

    Pajoy 6.0 - It's unfair to grade him so low because I think a big part of his struggles is that Ben put him in a tough spot playing up top alone, so many minutes. With a big pay cut, I could see him being a 3rd or 4th striker off the bench. But let's be honest, at his age we may as well cut him loose.

    Salihi 7.5 - The most natural striker we have so obviously I'd like to see him back. He could easily be a double digit scorer in this league if he got the minutes. Obviously Ben doesn't like him, but he's under contract. Maybe a transfer offer from Europe? If not I hope Ben brings him back and changes the team somehow to get Salihi more minutes. I also appreciate Salihi's positive attitude, where most DPs in this league would sulk if they got benched.

    The rest of the team : Dykstra, Chabala, White, Shanosky, King, Rozeboom, Wolff and Tan are all done. I can see keeping White and Shanosky maybe since they're homegrown. Maybe Dykstra because who cares about 3rd string keepers. But Chabala, King, Rozeboom, Wolff and Tan must all go.


    As far as grading Olsen and the team as a whole I'd say we had a great season. I don't like Ben's tactics at all though. There's no cohesion and nuance. This team doesn't fit the tradition of attractive soccer that we built in the 90's through the Nowak years. That is disappointing, but results don't lie. What Olsen lacks in tactics, he makes up in spirit. He also did something to win the favor of the Gods. Down the stretch we lucked out with such an easy schedule and then a series of lucky bounces and lucky calls to really get us into 2nd place in the East.

    Next year will be his 4th season so he has to get his roster right. No more excuses. There's just no excuse for starting games with over a million of salary cap sitting on the bench.
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  2. publicstranger

    publicstranger Member

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    How do you solve a problem like Salihi.
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  3. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

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    It depends on Ben. We have no way of knowing what Ben is thinking, other than he didn't like Salihi much for this 2012 DCU team.

    If Salihi really is a problem for Ben, you have to get rid of him. You shop him and see if you can get a transfer from Europe. We got him on a free transfer, so even a $100,000 transfer would be a profit that goes straight to our allocation funds.

    If there's no offers, there may be a chance at mutual termination of contract. I'm not sure if Salihi would want to waste another year playing off the bench.

    There's a chance Salihi would not want a mutual termination. That would mean giving up $400,000 of salary next year. There's nothing in it for him unless he thinks he can get something like that in Europe. So if he doesn't want mutual termination, we could buy out his contract but that's an awful option IMO. That's $400,000 flushed down the toilet, and it sends a bad message to our future DP targets.

    And lastly there's a slim chance that Ben reconsiders Salihi's usefulness. Maybe he changes the team in the offseason a little to suit Salihi's game. There is a precedent of DC bringing back an underpreforming DP. We could of bought out Branko's contract last offseason, but we brought him back and he had a much improved season.
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  4. DC06

    DC06 Member

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    I will put two numbers, first my expectation at start and then second my thinking on as close to objective evaluation now at the end.

    Hamid 8.5 - 8
    Willis 6 - 7
    Korb 6 - 7.5
    Woolard 7 - 7.5
    McDonald 6.5 - 7
    Jakovic 8 - 8.5
    Dudar 8 - 7
    Najar 8 - 8
    Russell 7.5 - 6.5
    Pontius 8.5 - 9
    Neal 4 - 6.5
    Kitchen 8 - 9
    Saragosa 6 - 7
    De Rosario 9 - 7.5
    Boskovic 8 - 8
    De Leon 5 - 9
    Santos 7 - 7
    Pajoy 6 - 5.5
    Salihi 8 - 7

    So, DeLeon is easily my biggest pleasant surprise, with Kitchen being close really coming into his own and Pontius putting in a great year. Mixed results player to player, I did not feel like anyone fell way short of expectations, and overall was happy with our fight through the tough stretch to close out the season. I am optimistic, but some big issues definitely to be addressed in off season.


  5. redcomet

    redcomet Member

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    I'll try to rate everyone later but I have to say Kitchen surprised me. I wasn't impressed in the beginning of the year but he ended the season with great performances.
  6. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

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    There are 2 huge collective accomplishments that really made this season worthwhile, even though we won nothing except the Carolina Cup.

    1) That NY series. That will go down in history. We'll still talk about that in 20 years.

    2) Finishing the season with 18 games undefeated at RFK (19 counting PSG). That will be in the record books for many years.

    2012 will also go down in history for the Thohir/Levien buy in. This could be a turning point in the club's history. If they get us a stadium one day, 2012 will go down as the year that DC came back from the brink of extinction.
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  7. DC06

    DC06 Member

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    Well said. First time I've really looked forward to the future in a long time.
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  8. redcomet

    redcomet Member

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    I can't figure out how to rate DeRo's season. He was good at points and awful a lot too. He played way too much throughout the season. I remember several times he gassed out early and yet Olsen rarely subbed him.
  9. publicstranger

    publicstranger Member

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    Post match quotes:

    D.C. UNITED HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN


    On going down 1-0 prior to half:
    “We talked about keeping a zero, and as much as this game was about the offense and us scoring goals, it was also about us keeping them off the scoreboard. We talked about discipline and making sure we have a real disciplined aggression about us. It hurt. They didn’t have much up until that point. The way we started the game was great – we put a lot of energy into it and then we kind of had to breathe a bit – that’s why they got a couple looks. In a game like that, where you need goals, you’re going to have to not make any mistakes on the defensive end. It was a game where there were three goals out there, but we weren’t clinical enough in the final third.”
    On the emotional ride the team has gone on this season:
    “We talk about laying a foundation here and having something special for years to come and I believe it’s here. I really do. This group is a bunch of great, young guys who are willing to fight and do what it takes. This experience was invaluable for them. It’s a special group – there’s a certain character about this group that makes me proud of them and they know it. They put everything out there tonight, and the fans appreciate this group. This group has put us back on the map a little bit and I hope we can continue growing.”
    On multiple things being stacked against the team all year:
    “I’m sure I will wake up tomorrow and that will probably be my thought. At some point, its just not going to be good enough down the stretch. I’m glad we hung on this long, I really am. It shows the spirit this group has because things have not been easy. I don’t even know if you guys know the half of it. There’s been obstacle after obstacle and these kids kept on pushing through and I’m really proud of them.”
    On De Rosario’s return:
    “I knew he would energize the crowd and once he came on, he looked a little rusty at times and you saw some magic as well. As a group, we started creating a lot more chances. I would have really liked the next few weeks to get him fit and really see what he has.”
    On the final stretch of the game:
    “I think we could have made that really interesting down the stretch if we just had a little bit more composure in front of the goal.”
    On the improvement from last year:
    “I think its another year of experience for our young guys, we were deeper so when we had injury issues, we had replacements. We were just more talented as well to state the obvious. We had better players out there this year. Our depth really helped us this year. We have changed formations multiple times this year, changed style of play multiple times this year, and that is probably the story of the year. When someone goes down, we had to change. The willingness to change and buy in to whatever I was selling, crazy or not, they were willing to do whatever we needed to survive. The last couple weeks, even the last month, I think we started playing some really attractive stuff as well. We were grinding there for a while, but I think these guys grew so much in such a short time period without Dwayne De Rosario and I thought we had a nice style about us. I’m just proud – I’m really proud to be a part of this.”
    On the group of players this year:
    “I knew what I was getting out of my guys, and I haven’t had that feeling as a coach since I have been here. That’s a nice feeling – to be confident in the group you are putting out there. As this team grew together, it made life a little bit easier on me, when all is said and done.”
    On the injuries:
    “Chris [Pontius] was done. He [Pontius] would have been a question mark for the finals. Brandon [McDonald] maybe could have played. It was not a game where I could afford a final sub. Lewis Neal, before the game, had a little bit of a question mark with a quad strain. He was actually going to start and we had to change to a 4-4-2. I think at times that helped us, and at times that hurt us. I wish I would have had the starting lineup I initially had up until this morning.”
    On Branko Boskovic’s performance:
    “For me, it was his best of the year. We don’t know what’s going on with Branko next year, but he did his work today, for sure. I was really proud of him. To get the goal was great, but his overall play and the way he dictated that game was very, very special today.”
    On Hamdi Salihi’s season:
    “He [Hamdi Salihi] does what he always does, he gets in great spots. When he’s in form, those are goals. Its not easy when you are sitting a long time and getting ten minutes here and there. But you can see, he gets in such great spots. He knows how to play that position and if he had a couple more games under his belt recently, he would have done better with those.”
    On some of the lessons the team has learned this year:
    “We learned a lot of hard lessons this year – in the last couple of weeks as well. The Andy Najar suspension hurt us, he was playing his best stuff. I think he would have helped in tonight’s game in particular. But saying that, Robbie Russell has been great. He [Robbie Russell] exemplifies what we are about – he stepped in and got the job done.”
    D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER DWAYNE DE ROSARIO
    On getting back on the field:
    “It felt good. I’m grateful that the guys gave me the opportunity to play again this year.”
    On trying to come back in the second half:
    “One thing I told the guys is you can’t give up. I mean, I remember in ’04, when I was with San Jose, we were down two nothing. We went home down two nothing, we fought back and found a way. We had the chances tonight, but, you know, unfortunately it didn’t go our way, but we were able to get one. It obviously wasn’t enough. You know, just the character the guys showed, the dedication and the unity that we showed as a team was fantastic. It is something we can definitely build on for the future.”
    On the emotion of the game:
    “We put our hearts and souls into this. We train hard and this is what we train hard for. To have that, to put that into perspective and have it end like that, it is definitely emotional.”
    On what he thought the team would do after his injury:
    “Well, when I got injured, like they say ‘No guy is bigger than the team.’ They showed that. The guys got together and pulled together as a strong unit and brought me back. It was through them is why I got back healthy. It is what it is and we have to plan for next year.”
    D.C. UNITED GOALKEEPER BILL HAMID
    On having to overcome the 3-1 deficit:
    “We all still believed. It was still doable. We had enough chances to get back in the game, even after the goal we let in. It’s unfortunate. We played our hearts out and never gave up. It was a great effort by us – it’s unfortunate.”
    On his favorite memories from the season:
    “There’s too many memories about this year. This is an unbelievable group of guys. We’ve always stuck together. We’ve always been like brothers in here. I don’t think you guys realize how much of a bond we have in this locker room. It feels like a real brotherhood. We’re going to miss that, but we’re going to take that into next year and push for more.”
    On the crowd of 20,000+:
    “The crowd was amazing. To see what they did – I didn’t even see it at first – I turned around when I got in goal and saw what they did and it was unbelievable. The crowd, they support us through thick and thin. I truly believe they are the best and the strongest in MLS. We ask them to continue supporting us and we thank them, gratefully, for their support.”
    D.C. UNITED MIDFIELDER NICK DELEON
    On his thoughts at the final whistle:
    “It doesn’t feel good, obviously. Reflecting back, it was a strong season and we pretty much built a platform for this team moving forward. We know the potential of this team. It’s time now to unwind and come back even harder next year.”
    On whether or not he thought the team would do this well after losing De Rosario:
    “When he first went down, no, but that’s a testament to this team. We really came together and persevered. We had a good run at it, we really did.”
    On the experience gained in the playoffs this season:
    “It’s going to help a lot – being a rookie and experiencing that, it’s going to be huge moving forward. With my confidence and this team’s confidence in my abilities. It was a good run.”
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  10. DCUSA

    DCUSA Member+

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    -Kitchen, from the beginning of the season until today, took a quantum leap. That is a fantastic outcome and he is a cornerstone for this team.
    -Hamid is a terrific keeper who I believe will always be able to pull off the miraculous/dumdum. Someone somewhere mentioned David James and I'll take that.
    -I thought Korb was a good player coming into the season, but he exceeded my expectations (as did Woolard). He has no left foot however, so maybe RB is his place, which brings me to...
    -Najar found his game at RB, but I see no reason why he can't replicate that at RW That would allow DeLeon to go to the left and Pontius to push up top where he wouldn't have the same wear and tear. Pontius is definitely a player United needs healthy for years to come.
    -DeRosario is a withdrawn forward anymore, that is all, and that's just fine. He lingers on the ball too long in midfield and is a hindrance to possession, ironically. As a withdrawn forward, this can be a good thing, to hold and get others in position. Next year will quite possibly be his last productive one, due to father time. The injury and the concurrent time off will be a positive for his old legs next year.
    -Pontius made a case for being one of the 10 best players in the entire league, but unfortunately he just wore down at season's end. Olsen will use him more judiciously next year, unless forced to play the shit out of him again.
    -Boskovic finally showed, when given the opportunity, what the big deal was about. I guess he's signed until next summer? He might catch the eye of some eastern european team and go for a decent dollar, but if not, he's a starter in my mind. Either in the middle or on the left.
    -McDonald/Jakovic formed a strong partnership that United has lacked for seemingly forever. Dudar is quality, but too expensive and unfortunately he will leave.
    -DeLeon should be the ROY, so 'nuff said. Even when he wasn't playing well, he put in the work on the defensive end and that was impressive.
    -Salihi wasn't used enough. Not much negative to say about Olsen, but this is hard to understand. I have to believe something happened that the fans/media weren't privy to.
    -What a season for the role players/bench warmers. Willis, Neal, Saragosa and Santos all had their moments. Even Pajoy played his part.
    -Untapped youth is lurking in the bushes. Augusto, Rozeboom, Shanovsky and Tan could all play a part next year. White is the one I fear will be left behind. In Long Tan is see the result of coaching that is even worse than US youth coaching. He needs time, because it's like starting from scratch.
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  11. joehill

    joehill Member

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    I wonder what he doesn't know is going on? He is signed through next summer at least.
  12. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

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    Well maybe Olsen is referring to that summer option and whether Branko finishes 2013 with us or not.
  13. JG

    JG Member+

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    I think Olsen just settled on tactics that didn't fit Salihi. The team was set up for Pontius/DeRosario/sort of DeLeon to be the main goalscoring threats, and for the lone striker to be a guy who pressured the defense, held up the ball, and combined with the midfielders instead of being a prolific goalscorer himself. Pajoy is a pretty average player but stylistically he fit the bill.
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  14. DCUSA

    DCUSA Member+

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    If Salihi weren't a DP, I would agree with you, but why buy this guy and not use him? Something doesn't add up. Once DeRo went down, I can see it, but he wasn't playing before that. Long Tan was getting more minutes.
  15. ImNumberTen

    ImNumberTen Member

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    Very disppointed that we won't get a shot at our 5th MLS Cup this year, but...

    If, when DeRo went down in early September, you had told me he wouldn't be back until the 2nd half of the 2nd leg of the conference final after DCU finished the regular season on a 9-game unbeaten streak...well, I would have asked you what you were smoking (and if you had any to spare).

    So, in that light, I'm happy. Very entertaining season by Ben's warriors, and the future is bright.

    We're back. Vamos!
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  16. DCUSA

    DCUSA Member+

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    3/19/11 v. Crew:

    --------Wolff------Ngwenya-----
    Pontius----------------------Najar
    ------McCarty------Simms--------
    Burch--Jakovic---Kitchen--Zayner
    ---------------Onstad--------------

    Bench: Willis; Brasesco; Quaranta, Morsink, Boskovic; Davies, Brettschneider

    Cue Virginia Slims ad.
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  17. Bonus_Game

    Bonus_Game Member

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    Hamid - 8.5 (third best keeper in the league IMO - tied for best save % with Gspurning)
    Willis - 7 (Very capable backup - probably one of the better backups in the league)
    Najar - 6 (midfield), 9 (defender) -- Great 1-on-1 defending, sometimes out of position but he has the speed to make up for it. His switch to RB completely transformed our team after DeRo went down, and he was the MVP of that stretch IMO.
    McDonald - 8 (excellent season for our #1 center back)
    Jakovic - 6 (he's an okay starter, very prone to mental lapses, which is really frustrating because he is one of the most physically gifted center backs in the whole league)
    Woolard - 7.5 (downright solid, shame he got injured)
    Korb - 6.5 (not an MLS starter (yet) IMO, but quality depth at outside back
    Russell - 5 (time for him to pull a Wolff, he just don't have the wheels no more)
    Dudar - 5 (good passing, mediocre defending. He's excellent depth at CB and could be ideal for a different team, but he doesn't fit our style that well and I think we can do better considering his salary)
    Kitchen - 9 (our best player this season, his improvement this season was so surprising to me and I can't say enough good things about him. We need to build around him - he is that good)
    Saragosa - 6.5 (terrible as the lone DM, but his partnership with Kitchen was excellent and was one of the keys down the stretch)
    Neal - 5.5 (good depth, but I'd prefer he not be the first option off the bench)
    Pontius - 7.5 (good player, glad he signed a long term deal with us)
    DeLeon - 8 (what a season, and he'll only get better. He's dynamic and works hard on defense, and stepped up his game when it counted)
    De Rosario - 6.5 (injury aside, DeRo had a fairly underwhelming season. I'd like him to be back next season, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's his last nor if he comes back playing like he's 25. Also, Benny definitely overworked him (or possibly didn't have the cajones to say 'take a rest' to a guy as competitive as DeRo), so he should manage his minutes better next year, assuming he comes back)
    Boskovic - 6.5 (It's nice to have a player like Branko on the team. I don't think he should be an automatic starter, but for certain opponents he's perfect, and always great as a second half sub if we need a goal)
    Santos - 5.5 (great early in the season, but not the same player after he was injured. I would prefer that he doesn't come back next year)
    Pajoy - 4.5 (sure, he does good things on the defensive side of the ball, and he has good physical work rate. But come on folks, this guy blows. Can't shoot, too slow to make decisions, lazily strays offside time and time again, makes stupid runs. At his salary I'd be very disappointed to see him back. Although I will say he was amazing in the NYRB series, but aside from that he was atrocious all season.)
    Salihi - 5.5 (I really hope we can get this guy to come back next season, because I really think he has the tools to be successful with this team and one of the best forwards in MLS. I honestly don't know what Benny has against him.)
    Tan - 2 (This guy blows)
    Chabala - 2 (same with him)
    Wolff - 3.5 (just rating his play, not his coaching)
    King - 4 (he played this season?)
    Augusto - 5 (while he did make a terrible error for that 3rd Houston goal, I think he showed enough to warrant another look. Very little risk in keeping him, so I'd like to see him back.)

    Here's what we need to do in the offseason:
    • Depth at centermid/dmid - after Kitchen and Saragosa we have nobody (King doesn't count he sucks)
    • Depth at wide midfield - trading away Cruz and then switching Najar to RB really gave us very little depth on the wings. Neal is a decent backup, but not a good first option off the bench.
    • Figure out the forwards
    • Cheaper CB depth (basically, replace Dudar with someone cheaper)
  18. The Artist

    The Artist Member

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    Happy with the season. Despite all the injuries and the deficit, I was strangely looking forward to this last game. For the first time in a long time I watched a DC game and expected them to play well. Too bad it didn't work out, but I feel good about the future.

    Cornerstones of the future
    Hamid - I know he makes mistakes, but I think he's going to be amazing. The guy is huge and quick and confident
    Kitchen - Adding Saragosa helped Kitchen a lot, but I also think that our long undefeated streak at the end can be attributed to Kitchen stepping up to the next level. All those minutes he's played the last two seasons are paying dividends.
    Najar - A right back with that kind of skill would be almost unheard of in MLS. Can't wait to see him settled in there.
    DeLeon - Wow, the last two drafts have been good to DC. The only knock on him coming out of college was consistent effort and I didn't see a hint of that problem all year. Good attitude, skill, very tough, and now some experience.
    Pontius - He's not quite at the star level yet, but he earned his extension and should be an excellent MLS player for years. I hope he nails down a position from this point on.

    High value
    Jakovic - Great season. I thought he started a little rough, but he was amazing down the stretch. The only reason I don't put him in the higher category is the injury history and the international call ups.
    McDonald - I still have no idea how a journeyman American defender has such a big contract (relative to MLS) but he's definitely a keeper unless we have serious salary problems. I think he deserves a ton of credit this year.
    Korb - I'm not sure Korb is an MLS caliber starter but with a tight salary cap you need players like him who can step in when needed. His left foot improved during the year, but I imagine he will often take Najar's spot if Najar is playing internationally or is pushed up to midfield for some reason.
    Woolard - If he's still the same guy we saw at the beginning of the season then we will be rock solid next year in the back.
    Willis - Pretty much the same as Korb. He showed he can play at this level, but his upside might not be high enough to be a starter. At his price though he's just what we need.

    Question marks
    DeRo - Will definitely be back next year, but age has clearly caught up. He doesn't seem like the type to gracefully accept decline. We need to build a team that covers his weaknesses rather than one that depends on the strengths he had two years ago.
    Bosko - I want to believe in him. The last few weeks there have been moments he looked ready to be an MLS-level star. Still, I'm not sure. Losing the DP status helps, but I don't know what his best position is and neither does Ben it seems.
    Salihi - He does stuff no other forward on the team is doing, and it's hard to argue with his production while actually in the game. But any combination of DeRo, Pajoy, and Salihi up top seems very, very slow and weak in the air for MLS.
    Pajoy - I don't know what Pajoy is making. If it is a lot then he probably needs to be replaced. I think with a real goal scorer beside him he could be a viable second forward, but you can't have your top guy be this bad at scoring.
    Neal - The limitations are obvious, but he seems comfortable enough on the ball. His cool against Columbus was impressive. Left-footed players are a bonus and he can play in the middle when desperate. Depends on salary again.
    Saragosa - I just don't notice Saragosa much when he's on the field, which is probably a good thing. I don't mind keeping him around, but I'm not sure I want to watch the empty bucket for 34 games.
    Augusto - No idea. Whatever the people who have seen him think is fine with me. Won't judge him by a sub appearance on the road with the walking wounded.

    Need to go
    Santos - He had some magical moments this year, but all his former teams' fans told us he'd disappear after getting your hopes up and were right.
    Russell - He'll leave a hero for setting up DeLeon, but with Najar and Korb there's no need for him anymore.
    Dudar - I never saw the skill here that a lot of others did. Given his playing time he seemed to make as many mental mistakes as the less heralded McDonald. I wouldn't be a big fan of paying 200K to a foreign CB in the first place, but with McDonald and Jakovic playing well it is even more unnecessary.

    Upgrade
    Tan, Chabala, King - We should be upgrading these spots on the roster. I won't throw a fit if these players are still warming the bench next year, but a good FO should be bringing in guys with higher ceilings here.
  19. Murr

    Murr Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Club:
    DC United
    Returners:Hamid, Willis
    Najar, Woolard, Korb and 2/3(Dudar, Jackovic, McDonald)
    DeLeon, DeRo, Boskovic, Kitchen, Pontius

    Trials: White(window closing), Shanosky(young with potential), Rozeboom(injuried all year deserves at least a trial), Dykstra(if he sticks around), Santos, Saragosa, Neal, Russell(if he wants to return), Augusto(young, has talent, needs more time to show it), Tan(very young, maybe/maybe not)

    Gone: Chabala(traded a draft pick for one game of coverage), Wolff(thank you), King(Neal is the new King), Salihi(doesn't fit Ben's mold), Pajoy

    I think DP $$ goes to a striker this offseason, one that can meet Ben's demands.
  20. benni...

    benni... scream @ me.

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    w/ your woman
    Lets me just say, i cant complain about much when we see the improvements from last year. We have a good spine. Lets hope we can make the appropriate summer moves to elevate us once more.
  21. stangspritzring

    stangspritzring Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Location:
    NorMD
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    United States
    On Hamdi Salihi’s season:
    “He [Hamdi Salihi] does what he always does, he gets in great spots. When he’s in form, those are goals. Its not easy when you are sitting a long time and getting ten minutes here and there. But you can see, he gets in such great spots. He knows how to play that position and if he had a couple more games under his belt recently, he would have done better with those.”

    Really, Ben? I mean...REALLY?
    sitruc, DC06 and Alejandro 10 repped this.
  22. stangspritzring

    stangspritzring Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Location:
    NorMD
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    United States
    You're rating the guy with far and away the best goals/minutes played ratio on the squad a 5.5?
    Alejandro 10 repped this.
  23. Petworth Posse

    Petworth Posse Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Club:
    DC United
    Dudar is the only player on the team who is a net liability. His play in the Open Cup was among the worst single performances I've ever seen from a United player. He scares the crap out of me whenever he's on the field. Last night he was caught ball watching, resulting in Houston's goal. I realize we need depth at CB for a bench player. Let's make that a priority in the draft and be done with him.
    Salihi is the other player on the verge of being traded. He works great in a particular system that drives a lot of play into the 18. We could be that team. But I don't think that's Ben's vision. At his DP cost, I don't think he'll be back.
    Deleon, McDonald, Jakovic, and Najar as a wing back are the best surprises of the year. Neal also ripened into a solid role player that can play in 2/3 of the positions on the field.
  24. benni...

    benni... scream @ me.

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    w/ your woman
    I wouldnt count on the draft for anything. In fact player who we draft, if they actually make it to the all star break without being loaned out, or some such, then its a bonus. Thats how I feel even when we have a high draft pick. Imagine how I feel now?

    I've watched some college players over the last few years, but quite frankly, Im worried the leap up from ncaa to MLS is growing bigger each year.
  25. DecadeOfDCU26

    DecadeOfDCU26 Member+

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Location:
    Columbia Heights
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    United States
    Maybe it's more so Ben saying "I should have given him more games"?
    benni... repped this.

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