The DCenters posted an excellent article on the value of Gallardo this season. While I agree with most of his reasoning (I am solidly in the Pro-Gallardo camp), I think the more interesting debate is concerning Fred. I thought Fred was dangerous in the game against LA on Sunday, DCUMD gave him bottom marks (rail behind the bar), Goff gave him a 6, BLCKDGRD disagreed with Goff's rating saying he is indecisive and making terrible passes, and D placed him in the Bad section and has vowed to call him F-r-e-* until he finishes something.
So, who is this Fred, and why all the disagreement?
Fred, a Brazilian, joined a DC United team last season that was primed for an MLS Cup run. He was starting by the end of the first month and has been a mainstay in the starting lineup since then. He has been relatively durable, appearing in twenty-six of thirty games last season and twelve of fifteen this season. He can play either side of the midfield and the center. He is
In 2008, Fred's statistics are down from last season's pace, but so are United as a whole. He has created numerous chances and this has resulted in a large portion of his criticism. Is it enough to generate chances for yourself and others if those chances don't result in goals? My guess is that the Pro-Fred crowd would say yes, it is enough to be dangerous and keep the defense on their toes. The Anti-Fred crowd would say no, finish something. Fred seems to be one of the most talented players on the team, so much is expected from him. If Fred goes a half, a game, a few games without tangible results, the scrutiny is ratcheted up. Then, each missed pass, each unpulled trigger in the box, each ball skied over the goal, is magnified, dissected, and regurgitated. If Fred was less talented or less likable, I think his poor play would be rationalized, much like Josh Gros was. Gros was a hard worker who was limited offensively. If Gros produced a total of six goals and assists for the year, or one a month, the masses would have been happy. Not so with Fred, who last season averaged 2.5 goals/assists a month and is now on a 1.3 goals/assists a month pace.
So which side are you on? Happy with Fred, or left needing more?