Panic Button Being Pushed In DC?

Panic Button Being Pushed In DC?

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 22, 2008
  • Luciano Emilio, Marcello Gallardo, Tom Soehn, Zach Wells

Barkley CartoonThe morning after a loss is always an interesting thing. Either you are feeling decent about going on the road and playing better than in previous weeks despite the loss or you start to get that sense that everything is beginning to come off the wagon here. For DC fans, that reality is starting to hit home. (Cartoon via The Offside Rules, from Barkley)

What should have been a decent loss on the road to Toronto, in a game where DC had the chances to make it a draw, United fans are probably pushing the panic button more today than anything.

Last night’s 1-0 loss to Toronto FC drops D.C. United to 2-7 on the season. Let’s read that again, 2-7 on the season. Consider that D.C. United lost seven matches ALL of last season. Just a little perspective for you all out there (they went 16-7-7 last year in winning the Supporter’s Shield.

I’ve already discussed this week about head coach Tom Soehn’s job security at this point. But at some point you have to ask yourself, does the coach really make that big of a difference? Sure in the case that the players he has plugged on to make up for key injuries to Ben Olsen and for a few games guys like Fred haven’t panned out. But at the same time, you can’t place too much blame on him for the play of guys like Luciano Emilio and Jamie Moreno.

Some blame has to be on management for signing the players that they did. I think its fair to say now that some of the signings in the offseason haven’t worked out like they had hoped. Some guys were overpaid like striker Franco Niell, who has barely made any sort of impact on the game this season. Or a defender like Gonzalo Peralta, who has been more of a disappointment than anything else.

Its like they overpaid for unproven talent here that was thought to be good. We talk all the time about how clubs should look at South America and places like that for talent but at the same time they have to be smart. Picking talent just because they are from a certain place doesn’t always work out. Clearly the guys brought in (except for Gallardo) were meant to be role-players and not stars. But they were also paid a little more than they should have been.

How about keeper Zach Wells? Maybe DC should have made more of a serious push for Joe Cannon when they did back in January. Wells hasn’t been nearly the keeper than most had expected him to be this season.

And some out there will also place a tag of overpaid or bust on Marcello Gallardo. Believe me, Gallardo has been a solid designated player choice for DC. He hasn’t had the full help that we expected him to have though. Calling his signing a bust is definitely not warranted for anyone who’s actually watched this club play this season. He surely isn’t a DP-bust like Denilson or even to some degree like a Claudio Reyna or Claudio Lopez.

The panic button should be pushed if I were a DC fan. Place the blame evenly between players, coaches, and management for the poor job done so far this season. Chemistry seems to be an issue but this far into the season that shouldn’t be the case for a club who has been playing together since early February. The heart and hustle of this club is clearly missing as well.

The club has dug themselves a big hole just as they have in previous seasons. The only thing is those teams found a way to get out of that hole by this point in the season. This club clearly doesn’t know how to do just that here yet.

If you are a DC fan, what should happen? Fire Soehn? Dump some players when the transfer window opens? What? Let’s hear it.