Hello. My Name Is...
So who is left? Moreno is back along with Emilio. Benny, Clyde, and Fred return as well. So do Namoff, McTavish, and Burch. That is eight returning players who were starters for the second half of the season. Not all of them are guaranteed starters, though. It is conceivable that there will be five or six new starters on opening day or shortly thereafter. Remember, even though Fred was clearly one of the top eleven last April, he didn't crack the starting lineup for about six weeks.
And who are the men who are set to take their positions in DC United's starting lineup? A flock of South Americans, that's who. There are a three Argentinians, a Colombian, and a Peruvian. A forward, a midfielder, two defenders, and a goalie. I've seen in several places that there is an open competition for goalie, the two defenders are likely to start in central defense and Gallardo is the new #10. And who would object to seeing Moreno alternate playing the first sixty minutes one game and being a sub in the next game? Of course, this all depends on the quality of talent that is being brought in. Last year was quite successful with the Brazilians. But Filomeno and Donnet? Not so much.
And what about Christian Gomez? Looks like the hero of 2004 and the MVP of 2006 will be moving on, possibly to another MLS team. D at The DCenters doubts that Gomez qualifies as a United Legend. I tossed around this subject with a post wondering why there was only one member (now two) in the DC United Tradition of Excellence, aka Hall of Fame. Jamie is a guarantee to join Marco and Harkes. Who deserves to join them? I think Pope is a lock, and Olsen is right behind him. And can you leave off Bruce Arena? That's my list: Moreno, Etcheverry, Harkes, Pope, Olsen, and Arena. Click the link for my arguments. Oh, and add two Supporter's Shields to Olsen's resume. I put Gomez in the same rank as Ryan Nelsen: excellent while they were here, but not enough years to get into the most exclusive group.