Thursday, February 7, 2008

Is Gallardo an upgrade over Gomez?

That's the question that is likely to define the success of DC United over the next two or more years.

With the Gomez to Colorado trade all but official, it looks like we'll now have a pretty good measuring stick that we wouldn't have had if Gomez went to the Middle East or back to Argentina. We'll be able compare Gomez and Gallardo's numbers side by side with them playing in the same league. And I have a feeling that Gallardo will not win that comparison.

But the more I think about it, keeping in mind our most frequent slogan ("I trust the front office. I trust the front office"), there's a different way to look at this. My new thought is… Gallardo wasn't brought here to get better numbers than Gomez. Gomez averaged almost exactly 10 goals and 10 assists in each of the past three years, and without guys like Moreno and Emilio around, I'd be willing to bet that his goal production might actually INCREASE in 2008. It would be nice if I'm wrong, but I doubt Gallardo will average 10 goals and 10 assists in league play over the next two years.

So if not for more productive numbers, why did the almighty all-knowing front office bring Sr. Gallardo to DC? Over the past three years, United had some pretty nice accomplishments with Gomez as our #10 - namely, a couple of Supporter's Shields. But they failed to reach the MLS Cup finals all three years. They couldn't advance past the semi-finals in the Concacaf Champions' Cup, or in the Superliga. And they fizzled out in the round of 16 in the Copa Sudamericana. DC United has been largely a failure internationally over the past three years. So with those three international competitions in mind, plus the new Champions' League starting in 2008, and with the exciting possibility that US Clubs could eventually be allowed to participate in Libertadores at some point in the future… The front office, and in them we trust, decided that the best way to proceed would be to bring in a man with the highest level of international experience. And that man would be Marcelo Gallardo.

So Gallardo might not be the prolific playmaker and scorer that Gomez has been for us. I'll refine some predictions as we get closer to the season, but I might even be as bold as to say that United will probably not win the Shield this year. But Marcelo Gallardo gives us a distinct advantage over every other team in MLS when it comes down to international competitions.

And that's why he's here.


Fullback said...

Like you, I doubt that Gallardo's numbers will rival Christian's, but I think he may boost the numbers of those around him significantly. The corollary is that Gomez probably won't get his usual goals/assists in Colorado because he won't have Moreno or Emilio around to distract defenses.

Now, just sit back and wait for Gallardo to be a complete bust and Gomito to bang in 15 or so with a dozen or more of Stoner's "helpers" en route to 2008 MVP and a massively unlikely MLS Cup win for the cRapids. Provided they fire Clavijo early in the season of course ;-)

Anonymous said...

Gallardo's big resume is getting our hopes up, and frankly, I think he lacks Gomito's poetic football. Even so, Gallardo should be a solid midfielder, but I think Rapids will benefit more from Gomez than United from Gallardo. That said, I think that while the Gallardo signing may be the biggest for the hype, the $, and the DP status, the Carvallo, Niell, & Los Gonzalos (you get Supers, Fullback gets Suppies, I get Los Gonzalos, k?) signings will build a deeper United. I'm looking forward to seeing United on the defensive end this year. The midfield we can scrape together, and with the forwards we can finesse our way into the top three of MLS, but our defense will keep us there.

Pep said...

I didcovered your blog today.Great work. Im Italian and a Roma fan but i spent most of my life in Toronto. A great multicultural football mad town. So i will in a good natured way drop the gauntlet by saying Forza TFC.
Great blog by the by.
Pep from.