This is our second of four posts in review of the moves DC United has made since the end of last season. Last week we looked at their acquisitions, today we'll look at the players who departed, and then later we'll look at their trades.
1. It's hard to imagine how different DC United's season would be had they retained Marcelo Gallardo in 2009. My guess? He would have spent most of the season in Argentina recovering from a sprained pinkie or RLS or something. When on the field, he did some nice things, scoring 4 goals and adding 3 assists in 15 appearances (yes, just half the season). But the problem was the amount of time he spent off the field, and a seeming lack of desire to return. He's looked like his old self since returning to River Plate, which makes you wonder what could have been if his heart was with DC.
2. Ah, los Gonzalos. This pair of South Americans was brought here to start in central defense, but that didn't last long. Gonzalo Martinez was quickly moved to left back, where he eventually lost his starting job to Marc Burch. Other teammates complained that they never knew what to expect from Martinez. While being slightly more consistent, Gonzalo Peralta struggled with injuries, and never really emerged as anything more than an average central defender by MLS standards. Peralta has returned to the Argentine second division and Martinez to Columbia.
3. A departure that seemed kind of serious at the time was that of Zach Wells, who started 17 games in goal for us in 2008. Had he decided to return to DC this year instead of leaving soccer altogether, the team may never have traded for Josh Wicks, and now we'd be stuck with Crayton and Wells again. Thanks Zach!
4. Everyone's favorite scapegoat last year was Rod Dyachenko, a guy who showed a lot of potential initially, but dropped off in '08. Not only did we trade a first round draft choice to Toronto to retain Dyachenko in 2006, but we also chose to protect him over Brian Carroll in the 2007 Expansion Draft. It's not Rod's fault that we overvalued him. I mean no disrespect to him when I say that he's better off in the USL, which is more to his skill level. I caught a half of a Minnesota/Portland match a couple weeks back and Dyachenko looked like one of the best players on the Thunder.
5. I was truly disappointed when the club decided to part ways with Francis Doe shortly into the 2009 season. But apparently I did not forget Doe's incredible performance against New England last year as quickly as the front office did. I guess I should trust Soehn's opinion more than my own when it comes to weighing players' fitness levels, but right now I would prefer to still have Doe on the roster over N'Silu.
6. Clearly two victims of the new MLS roster constraints were Joe Vide and Domenic Mediate. And while I can't find any recent information on Vide to know if he's playing anywhere, Mediate has been an important player for the first place Puerto Rico Islanders. With MLS adding three more teams in the next two years, these guys might get their chances again.
7. Quavas Kirk is another in the endless line of IMG Academy players and Generation Adidas players who haven't panned out. Never the most technically skilled soccer player, Q-Nasty was probably our most physically gifted player on roster last year. Kirk will now try to develop his skills in the USL with Minnesota.
8. More victims of the roster changes were Ryan Cordeiro and Craig Thompson. Cordeiro brought lots of energy to the field in his 8 appearances, and was often the star of the reserve team. Thompson was consistent, if unimpressive, while serving as decent depth during the team's struggles with injuries last year. After both were surprisingly not invited to traning camp, Cordeiro decided to stay local, signing on with Real Maryland, while Thompson is apparently without a team.
9. DC United cut ties with the entire Carroll family when failing to renew the contracts of Jeff and Pat, ending a run of three consecutive years with two Carrolls on the roster. Jeff Carroll suffered from numerous unfortunate injuries during his time in DC, and after showing some potential early on, wound up sitting out the entire 2008 season. Pat Carroll was inconsistent in three starts for United, sometimes playing steady in defense, but more often failing to provide the coverage we needed for him to earn a permanent spot. Both are now with Real Maryland.