Looking at 2010: DC United

Looking at 2010: DC United

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 4, 2010
  • 3 Comments
  • Adam Cristman, Bill Hamid, Chris Pontius, Christian Castillo, Curt Onalfo, Floribert N'Galula, Josh Wicks, Rodney Wallace, Santino Quaranta, Troy Perkins

DC United fans are hoping for a return to playoffs in 2010. (Getty Images)

I wasn’t entirely sure I’d get to this offseason look at DC United today but extra time this afternoon came out of no where. So far these last couple weeks we’ve looked at a handfull of teams including Philadelphia, Chicago, Chivas, Colorado and Columbus.

Today is all about the Black-and-Red who have seen a pretty big change this winter. From Curt Onalfo taking over for Tom Soehn to seeing Ben Olsen retiring to not offering Christian Gomez or Luciano Emilio a new contract, this is a whole new United.

Let’s see exactly what they’ve done and what they need to work on before the season starts.

Keepers:

Who they have: Troy Perkins, Milos Kocic, Josh Wicks, Bill Hamid.

Notes: Obviously when they made the deal to get Perkins it was to sure up this area. Wicks was too on and off last year and Kocic and Hamid aren’t quite ready to take over. Perkins gives them stability in between the pipes and will help them win. No need to look elsewhere for any additional keepers right now. I am curious to see Hamid develop though, hopefully he’ll get some PT in some US Open Cup games.

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Defense:

Who they have: Julius James, Marc Burch, Dejan Jakovic, Devon McTavish, Bryan Namoff, Jordan Graye.

Notes: I like certain parts of this group like Burch, McTavish, Namoff and Jakovic but the rest not as much. Injuries are always an issue and right now Namoff is out with some sort of head injury and those can linger long depending on how bad of an injury it is.

If I were Onalfo I’d be worried about this bunch. Perkins will probably have to come up big for them more times then they’d like to admit right now. DC fans may answer this easier than I can at this point but who is the leader in the back out of this group? They have some veteran players but not one that you know right away is going to step up, maybe I am missing something here.

Right now I see them defending like Onalfo’s KC teams, solid for a game with a shutout and then give up two or three in the next.

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Midfield:

Who they have: Floribert N’Galula, John DiRaimondo, Danny Szetela, Christian Castillo, Clyde Simms, Tiyi Shipalane, Rodney Wallace, Brandon Barklage, Santino Quaranta.

Notes: This group will be fine if two things happen, Castillo lives up to the billing surrounding him and if Quaranta can help create some offense on a consistent basis. I do where they are in the back part of this group in terms of defensive midfielders.

Another interesting question will be whether or not N’Galula, the young 22-year old former Manchester United product will do anything of note. If he can be productive in the midfield for Onalfo he could end up being one of the bigger steals of the winter by any club.

With Christian Gomez gone you have to wonder where the offense will come from this group though. I think defensively in the midfield they will be fine and even on the wings they should be good with Castillo and Quaranta. They still however need that go-to guy in the midfield that will help with the attack, a playmaker if you will. Right now I just don’t see that. Maybe one of these young guys will surprise me.

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Forwards:

Who the have: Danny Allsopp, Chris Pontius, Boyzzz Khumalo, Jaime Moreno, and Adam Cristman.

Notes: An interesting group to say the least. One hand they are fairly young with Pontius and Cristman but on the other they aren’t with two 30+ year olds in Moreno and Allsopp.

I like the Cristman move for Onalfo and United though. You know he is familiar with Onalfo and his style of play. Moreno we know is going to get his normal amount of goals, mostly from the penalty spot.

I think the big thing to see is whether or not Pontius continues to develop into a goal scorer and if Allsopp can come in and produce at least six to eight goals. I think if those two things happen DC should be fine in the goal scoring department.

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Overall:

This will be an interesting season for the Black-and-Red. For one they are very young in respect to other teams in the league. Just like Philadelphia they only have three guys right now on their roster over 30 years of age. Finding a leader other than Moreno will be interesting to see. Hopefully someone steps up and leads this team because there will likely be a big drop off in leadership with Ben Olsen retired now.

With Gomez and Emilio out it looks like United aren’t looking for a big name product from South American to step in like they normally do. Its a risky move not to bring in a bunch of signings but as we’ve seen in recent years out of DC it doesn’t always work out. Instead they are now focusing on talent here and adding one or two pieces from outside MLS. I like the move on their part but it may take a while to produce well.

But we’ll see, this is a club that is bound to make a move or two more before the season starts so it will be interesting if they add depth in the back, find a playmaker and most importantly someone to be a leader.

  • Jason

    Wallace is lised as a defender on the website and likely to compete at leftback since Castillo is projected as the starting left midfielder.

  • rke

    Leadership in the back would fall to Namoff if he's healthy. Otherwise Jak, I would think.

    Overall, it seems it's Quaranta's team now, oddly enough. Will he step up and complete his journey? Simms has worn the armband a number of times, but I don't see him as the skipper. It will be interesting to see who Jaime is coaching to take over.

  • rke

    Leadership in the back would fall to Namoff if he's healthy. Otherwise Jak, I would think.

    Overall, it seems it's Quaranta's team now, oddly enough. Will he step up and complete his journey? Simms has worn the armband a number of times, but I don't see him as the skipper. It will be interesting to see who Jaime is coaching to take over.