Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sacrificing the future?

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but with Ownership's threats against Dave Kasper and Tom Soehn if the team fails to perform in 2009, it appears that they may have gone and sacrificed the future in favor of one last chance to shine. The truth is, I reckon there is greater than a 50% chance that Christian Gomez, Jaime Moreno, and Ben Olsen will all retire following this season. And without these three future DC United Hall of Fame members, there will be even more pressure on the front office next year.

At least it seems like management is already starting to learn to appreciate the draft a bit more. The recent selections of Chris Pontius, Andrew Jacobson, Rodney Wallace, and Milos Kocic all have tremendous potential. But then why throw away a second round pick in the Gomez trade? With all the raving Kasper has done about Kocic, you would think he'd finally realize that these picks can actually have value.

With the moves this offseason, the front office has completely erased every foreign acquisition and rookie that played last year. But there are also some other consequences to this failed foreign. With the loss of Guerrero and the inability to procure Roger, I'm afraid that we're in the process of stunting the growth of Devon McTavish and Marc Burch. Both appear destined to be stuck in defense for the entirety of the 2009 season, even though each is probably better suited for the midfield. Ever since his scoring streak in March 2008, I've been hoping to see McTavish return to right midfield, but that looks to be impossible without any cover at center back.

I actually believe that our roster right now is stronger than it was in 2008. And we only missed the playoffs by 2 points in 2008. So this year should see a return to the playoffs, and we know as well as anyone that everyone in the playoffs has a chance of reaching the Cup. It's just hard to picture what our roster will look like a year from now.


Fullback said...

It looks to me like the FO's defensive "plan" is to get a core of young Americans working hard as a collective, and the results will somehow follow.

Hmmm. Sounds like they're taking a page from the guy who just moved into that big white house across town.

Shatz... said...

On the surface, that sounds like a decent plan. Afterall, Agoos and Pope were 28 and 23 respectively in 1996! (Wait... Did I just compare Burch and McTavish to Agoos and Pope?)

It's fine to have a solid core group of young role-playing Americans (which includes Burch, McTavish, Janicki, Simms, Quaranta, Pontius), but our team's starpower is on the brink of retirement. We'll be fine this year I think, but a collection of role players with no stars is destined for failure if we don't do something significant NEXT offseason.

Fullback said...

If Burch and McTavish are half of our starting back line, we better be absolutely dominant in midfield.

Realistically, who are you looking to replace due to age/injury? Moreno, Gomez, and Olsen, all of whom might face limited minutes this year anyway, right?

Quaranta, who is still remarkably young for a veteran, has the goods to be a legitimate star if he keeps his current attitude. Pontius, and perhaps Wallace and Jacobson as well, seem to be pretty promising youth players with a touch of flair.

I'm not defending the FO, I just think that the more obvious problem is not what to do about missing star-power next year, it's that poor excuse for a back line. If that doesn't get fixed, the "sacrificial lamb" isn't the future, it's the 2009 season.