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DCU's Seat Assignments

Let's continue the airline theme (see today's print-edition story) and assess D.C. United's roster situation with a seating manifest.

FIRST CLASS
*MF Marcelo Gallardo ($1.874 million): With that salary, we had no choice but to put him in Seat 2B with Argentine beef and a glass of red wine. Does he deserve it? Um, probably not. Jury is still out on the oft-injured playmaker, but with a guaranteed contract and what can't be better than lukewarm interest in Latin America, he seems likely to run the show again next year.
*F Luciano Emilio ($758,857): A proven goal scorer who started the year poorly, regained his touch midseason, and then faded the final two-plus months. Can he return to his 2007 MVP form? The club is praying he will.
*F Jaime Moreno ($275,000): At 34, he was the only MLS player to reach double figures in both goals and assists. Should the club continue to depend so heavily on him for scoring production and minutes? No, but his ability to hold the ball and create opportunities warrants another season.

BUSINESS
*GK Louis Crayton ($175,857): The Liberian-Swiss keeper hit the ground running when acquired in August, immediately taking over for Zach Wells. He had a few heart-skipping misadventures, but displayed quality shot-blocking and footwork. His contract runs through next July.
*D Bryan Namoff ($98,750): A mainstay at right back, the eight-year veteran was good but not great. With his contract expiring this year, negotiations for a new deal are expected to be worked out in the coming weeks.
*MF Clyde Simms ($59,000): The only DCU player to appear in every regular season game, Simms wore down late in the season but established himself as one of the league's better deep central midfielders. Out of contract and warrants a raise.
*MF Santino Quaranta ($35,000): Baltimore's own rebounded from serious personal problems to play in all but three league games and contribute five goals and four assists in a variety of roles. After meeting several incentives, his base salary will deservedly rise.
*D Marc Burch ($33,000): With a powerful left foot, the former Terp is dangerous on set pieces and one of the few on the roster who crosses consistently. Filled in as a central back, but is more suited for the flank. A bargain at that salary.
*D Devon McTavish ($33,000): A local product who has established himself as a solid and versatile player but will need to take more leadership responsibilities.


COACH
*MF Ivan Guerrero ($147,000): The nicest guy in MLS and a tireless worker on the left flank, but provides only adequate service and is not a scoring threat. Salary could be a factor in whether he returns.
*MF Quavas Kirk ($136,500): Don't let that figure upset you; he is a Generation Adidas player, signed for his potential, and exempt from the salary cap. Showed promise on the flank and, at age 20, will be given more time to mature.
*F Francis Doe ($40,500): The Liberian kept United's playoff hopes alive with a two-goal performance against New England and is a nice option off the bench.
*MF Thabiso Khumalo ($33,000): Not as certain of returning as Pittsburgh teammate Greg Janicki, but an exciting, clever player with speed and creative instincts who can play on the frontline and flank.
*D Greg Janicki ($12,900): Late-season acquisition made the transition from the third division and moved into the starting lineup. The club seems certain to exercise the option on his loan and sign him to a senior roster contract.
*MF Joe Vide ($19,200): Blue-collar player arrived midseason and provided an edge in defensive midfield when Simms struggled. Seems set to fill a minimum salary on the senior roster ($34,000 next year).
*D Pat Carroll ($12,900): A developmental player who appears on the right track to compete for playing time.
*MF Ryan Cordeiro ($17,700): UConn product has the tools to perhaps earn minutes on the left flank and seems worthy of another year to prove himself.
*MF Craig Thompson ($12,900): Blue-collar flank player filled midfield and defensive roles and probably earned another developmental contract.
*GK James Thorpe ($12,900): Might a DCU developmental keeper actually stick around for more than one season? Probably.

STANDBY
*MF Fred ($242,000): The personable Brazilian is difficult to classify. His footwork was spectacular at times, but he doesn't cross well and, considering his pay rate, wasn't very productive (2 goals, 4 assists).
*MF Ben Olsen ($215,000): The heart and soul of the club, on and off the field, but will his troublesome left ankle allow him to play again or force him to retire? The club missed his fire and grit, as well as his re-emerging offensive contributions, throughout the year.
*D Gonzalo Peralta ($199,000): Offered a physical presence on the backline and had some excellent games, but injury setbacks affected his playing time and performance. If the club decides to retain him, it would have to be at a lower salary.
*GK Zach Wells ($52,920): A disappointment as a starter, but might be a decent value as a back-up. The question is whether the club feels he can compete for playing time -- an element sorely missing the first half of this season.
*MF Dominic Mediate ($33,000): Good utility player who suffered post-concussion symptoms and made only eight appearances. If he is not healthy, the club can't afford for him to take a valuable senior roster spot.
*D Ibrahim Koroma ($17,700): 19-year-old Sierra Leone national teamer arrived late in the season and was promptly sidelined with a knee infection. Is there enough potential to keep him around? Who knows.
*MF Ryan Miller ($12,900): Late, developmental acquisition received playing time and could return as a low-salary prospect.
*D Mike Zaher ($12,900): Like Miller, a developmental player who got on the field late in the year and showed some promise.
*MF-D Jeff Carroll ($12,900): Local product has barely played in three seasons and missed much of this year with a foot injury.

BUMPED
*D Gonzalo Martinez ($244,750): The Colombian offered attacking prowess at times, but made an increasing number of bad decisions and became a defensive liability the second half of the season.
*MF Rod Dyachenko ($33,000): He has never fulfilled his potential, despite numerous opportunities, and takes a senior roster slot.

By Steve Goff  |  October 29, 2008; 12:49 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Revs' Smith Suspended 3 Games

Comments

Goff, which cabin do you think Tommy Soehn is in?

Also, I think Martinez is in Coach or perhaps standby. He faded over the last third of the season, buty he might get another chance.

Posted by: Ron16 | October 29, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to take Guerro's salary and Fred's salary and get Bobby Convey back on the left wing! Bennie or someone getting his salary if he has to retire on the right - then we'd have real delivery to the forwards.

Other than that, can't really argue with the seating manifest but you did miss who was PILOTING the plan!!!!!

Posted by: Beckster1 | October 29, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

at that salary, Martinez is done, he's not worth half that in MLS.

Gotta disagree on Fred - he opens up the offensive part of DC's game just by being on the field and his back side runs are perfect for Gallardo. DC had an excellent record this year when both Fred & Gallardo played.

Posted by: teo_68 | October 29, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

So who does DCU protect in the expansion draft?

No way Burch is in business class. He is a defensive liability every time the ball gets near him. He is coach at best. Fred should be coach at worse.

Obviously salary played a roll in assigning players to their respective sections. We got more from Fred and Martinez for the money than Gallardo. Some consistency please!

Posted by: therealfootball | October 29, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

D Marc Burch ($33,000): . . . . A bargain at that salary.
=====================

As far as I can tell, they're only paying him to use one foot though.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 29, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see you place Burch and McTavish in Business. While both are signed through 2009 do you see the team offering them a raise during the offseason and extending their contract through 2010-or beyond.

I'd like to see Guerrero return. I wonfer if management is considering moving him to left back and Burch to left Mid on a more permanent basis. His salary in part is dictated by the fact that there just aren't a lot of quality reliable left wingers/defenders out there. Sure he is not a great scoring threat, but he holds the ball, demands attention, covers defensively, has a Josh Gros fitness level and work rate and can wear down opposing players, and can send in dangerous crosses (if only someone would finish them) . Who would replace him? By your assesment Cordeiro and Zaher are not ready to be full time starters and I am nto sure who DC could trade for or spend less on in the international market. By all accounts he's also a positive influence in the locker room and on the practice field. If the team can throw out $250 K for a defender I hope we can manage $150k for a proven left winger/back who can also add some consistency and stability to the lineup.


I'd love to see the money we save by cutting, trading, or reducing the contracts of Peralta and Martinez spread around to 5-7 of the senior roster 18. I am sure we can find equal if not better performing backs in the $100 K range plus Janicki in the 35-50K range

The challenge I think in part for assesing Fred's value is that his contributions are magnified as well as his play when he is surrounded by equal talent. If we can get more consistency with the starting 11 or top 18 and he accepts he doesn't have to run through the entire defense he has a proven ability to make big plays. He looked on fire up until the injuries.

If Doe stays fit, has a good offseason, and continues to commit himself he could have a breakout year in '09. Hopefully he is taking a history lesson that invovles reading up on the Kpene biography of how to torpedo ones career with laziness.

Goff can you look into and provide soem clarity on the need to protect or not protect janicki and/or Boyzzz. Does Seattle have first right to claim them from USL if we do not have them under contract... or if we want them would we need to protect them.


I think the starting 11 @columbus is very close to the protected list for DCU


enjoy the game tonight..... I know I will

Posted by: WCinDC | October 29, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I think Guerrero would be well worth his salary if Gallardo was healthy. I hope he stays.

Posted by: DadRyan | October 29, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Gotta disagree with Burch and McTavish - move them to Standby. They're fine as defensive substitutes on the bench, but not as starters.

Also, I would keep Martinez (as long as he accepts a drop in salary), drop Peralta, and go hunting for one or two new central defenders in the off-season.

Posted by: SSMD1 | October 29, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This is a great guide to the roster and off-season - thanks Steve.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 29, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Gotta disagree with Burch and McTavish - move them to Standby. They're fine as defensive substitutes on the bench, but not as starters.

Posted by: SSMD1 | October 29, 2008 1:54 PM

Those guys make peanuts and provide valuable depth - which is much in demand. I think Steve's classifications are used to show who's definitely staying and who could be going.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 29, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

None of our center backs are worthy of a starting position in MLS. Janicki shows promise. I'd be happy if we saw the last of Martinez and Peralta. McTavish is great as a bench player, not a starter. Priority number one this season should be a center back who defends, commands, and hopefully/wishfully has some speed.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | October 29, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

They're not paying Fred that dough to send in crosses. Fred is better on ball 1v1 attacker than anyone else we have; off ball he makes creative unpredictable runs, unfortunately they often escape the notice of his teammates. The sum of Fred + Emilio + (Gomez or Gallardo) has always been > 3.

No way is Fred standby.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 29, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

So who does DCU protect in the expansion draft?

Choosing which eleven players to protect for the expansion draft is going to be tough. (I'll assume that United will wait until after the draft to formally acquire Boyzzz and Janicki so they won't have to take up two spots).

Here's who I think I'd protect:

1. Moreno (no explanation necessary)
2. Simms (solid contributor)
3. Namoff (anchor on D)
4. McTavish (good, young, cheap Def)
5. Guerrero (versatile, great on left wing)
6. Fred (skilled player)
7. Burch (see McTavish)
8. Cordeiro (up and coming young winger)
9. Peralta (decent)
10. Quaranta (great turnaround, gives his all)
11. Doe (young forward)

I read that you don't have to protect DPs unless they have a no-trade clause so I didn't include Gallardo or Emilio and I also saw Generation Adidas players need not be protected either (Kirk). No one is going to select Olsen because of his injury risk but maybe you protect him as well out of respect and to make sure we don't have to trade to get him back.'

Cordeiro's the only developmental player I'd protect because he has looked pretty solid and figure he's surely in the team's future plans. The rules state that the Sounders must offer a senior contract to any developmental player selected so the other guys like Zaher, Carroll, Thorpe need not be protected.

Posted by: combedge | October 29, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Gallardo makes Guerrero and Fred better players. Guerrero is a must re-sign. Burch needs to move to his natural position.

Posted by: CHICO13 | October 29, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Steve -- I like your bold classification of Fred. While he seems to be a wonderful person, his skill set does not really fit at DCU. He could not fill in for Gallardo, he really isn't a wing player either. Maybe the only "true" position he has is the one Moreno plays -- but do you tie up almost a half million in two players at the same spot? Not in MLS.

As for Martinez -- at a quarter million a year -- buh bye. Also, can Peralta really make close to $200K a year in the Argentine Second Division? If so, then Argentina is out of MLS's price range, otherwise, someone overpaid for a good, but far from great player.

Posted by: griffin1108 | October 29, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Colorado is pretty deep at center back. I wouldn't mind seeing United go after Ihemelu or Petke in the offseason.

Posted by: Kenobi | October 29, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Steve -- I like your bold classification of Fred. While he seems to be a wonderful person, his skill set does not really fit at DCU. He could not fill in for Gallardo, he really isn't a wing player either. Maybe the only "true" position he has is the one Moreno plays -- but do you tie up almost a half million in two players at the same spot? Not in MLS.

As for Martinez -- at a quarter million a year -- buh bye. Also, can Peralta really make close to $200K a year in the Argentine Second Division? If so, then Argentina is out of MLS's price range, otherwise, someone overpaid for a good, but far from great player.

Posted by: griffin1108 | October 29, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

my protected list.....

1 Crayton
2 Namoff
3 McTavish
4 Burch
5 Guerrero
6 Quaranta
7 Fred
8 Simms
9 Moreno
10 Martinez(He played injured for more than half of the season) just so you all know
11 Olsen (if retiring then ... Vide)

Posted by: ThE-BaRRa-BrAvA-KiD | October 29, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Said of Boyzzz: "Not as certain of returning as Pittsburgh teammate Greg Janicki,..."

Why is this? Has he mentioned wanting to go elsewhere?

Posted by: 22206no1 | October 29, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Combedge, I have a different understanding of the DP section of the rules. It does indeed stated that only no trade DP's have to be protected. But to me, that means you can leave a DP exposed to the draft. Which means, according to your list, you have left Gallardo and Emillio exposed. Keep in mind FCD left Denilson exposed for the TFC expansion draft. Again, maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I think if you want to keep them both, you have to protect them.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 29, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

is it really necessary to protect Jaime? I am not certain that Seattle would choose him at his age and after 2 operations and at his salary. I think it is an acceptable risk to leave him unprotected.

Posted by: rbhartswick | October 29, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Priority number one this season should be a center back who defends, commands, and hopefully/wishfully has some speed.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | October 29, 2008 2:12 PM

The toughest thing to do in US soccer.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 29, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Seattle could pick Jaime, package and trade him off. Not worth the risk.

Posted by: CHICO13 | October 29, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@Sonicdeathmonkey -- your interpretation really doesn't make sense. The direction that there is no need to protect a DP lacking a no-trade contract can only mean that they are not exposed in the draft. Perhaps the rules were different if Denilson was truly exposed, or his contract was different. We don't know whether Gallardo or Emilio have such clauses in their contracts, but if they do, they need not be protected. Apparently, MLS has decided that the DPs were attracted to a team if they have such a clause. They don't want to gum it up by exposing them to the draft -- bad precedent.

I want to echo Goff's comments about Fred. While he can look good on the ball, and he does make strong runs, his crosses stink and so do his shots. He doesn't produce anything like what you'd expect for someone with his speed and ball skills. That said, I don't know if DC can let him go. It depends on what the options are...

The Burch/Guerrero thing -- I like Burch a lot. I'm just not sure I agree with those saying this best position is in midfield. He doesn't have Fred's ball skills -- his complete lack of a right foot really does get in the way. If he can fix that in the offseason, I'd think differently. Guerrero is probably more valuable in the back, assuming we have a better attacking option in the midfield.

As for Kirk -- I guess the Adidas Gen saves him, but it's still a roster spot. I feel like there ought to be someone better, but perhaps he can still develop.

I concur with everything else that anybody has said...except about Peralta. I think he's an oaf, whose best plays consist of knocking over the other team's players...when he gets away with it. I wouldn't want him back at any price.

Posted by: fischy | October 29, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I think it's crazy to let Dyachenko go. He's one of few players on our team who can actually single-handedly make a significant difference on the field. Does he consistently do that? No, but he sure showed some promise this year, especially in the San Jose game. He's worth keeping.

As for Martinez, good riddance.

Mediate needs to go as well, not worth keeping on the senior roster.

Fred's gotta go. He sucked last season and was even worse this year. Bye

The conditioning coach MUST BE FIRED.

Keep Soehn, he already has a familiarity with the players and has proven to be a success with a relatively healthy squad.

Keep Peralta, he did pretty well in the backline when healthy. His lack of speed is a problem though, but if we can get a speedy center back to pair up with him it would be a great combination.

Keep Wells, no reason to let him go at his salary.

Too early to tell with Benny, we'll see how his situation develops. I trust him and the club to make the right decision.

Protected List (in no particular order):
1. Crayton
2. Moreno
3. Namoff
4. MacTavish
5. Quaranta
6. Simms
7. Guerrero
8. Janicki
9. Khumalo
10. Doe
11. Benny
The next three: Vide, Peralta, Burch
I left Emilio and Gallardo off because Seattle only has 1 DP slot.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 29, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I think it's crazy to let Dyachenko go. He's one of few players on our team who can actually single-handedly make a significant difference on the field. Does he consistently do that? No, but he sure showed some promise this year, especially in the San Jose game. He's worth keeping.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 29, 2008 3:23 PM

This is a joke right?

Most of the time when he is "single-handedly" making a difference it usually nets in a positive result for the other team.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 29, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

which wags for stewardesses? did you know stewardesses is the longest word you can type with your left hand using touch typing? dcu needs good, young players. we are getting old and old people get injured more often.

Posted by: getanewnumber10 | October 29, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I concur with everything else that anybody has said...except about Peralta. I think he's an oaf, whose best plays consist of knocking over the other team's players...when he gets away with it. I wouldn't want him back at any price.

Posted by: fischy | October 29, 2008 3:23 PM

----------------------

Yeah, you're right about Peralta, I got caught up in the group discussion that he had some strong showings and forgot that he was essentially an oaf. He is still kinda young (28), but honestly, if he costs even half of what he costs now, he isn't worth it. We have to be able to find a better CB.

In his place, I guess I'd keep Vide. I know that leaves Crayton off, who I actually really like (particularly his apparent dedication to the team - did you see how distraught he looked when Evans' goal went in on Sunday?), but with the second highest salary amongst MLS keepers, I doubt he's the target of any team out there.

Posted by: combedge | October 29, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke right?

Most of the time when he is "single-handedly" making a difference it usually nets in a positive result for the other team.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 29, 2008 3:41 PM

Were you at the playoff game last year?

Posted by: GoUnited | October 29, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Every time i see Dyachenko play (particularly live, since it's a little harder to do on TV), I can see the ideas are there, I can see what Dyachenko is trying to do. He has the skill set. The thing he lacks is execution, and that is an easily fixable thing. It just comes down to good coaching. It's mostly the assistant coaches fault more than Soehn's.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 29, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Soehn'rry AZZ does not even deserve a flight ticket... OH! wait

give his AZZ a one way ticket!!!...

Wait that will probably cost us about $300 ... better yet

Gray Hound his AZZ ... AND send that tree trunk Peralta with him!!

Vamos United!!

WE need a new coach with some cojones and direction!

Posted by: DCFaninSocal | October 29, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=820927&highlight=expansion+draft+rules

There are the rules....please show me where it says DP players are exempt from the expansion draft. You can't, because it sayt just the opposite. Even Goff has stated earlier today that technically Seattle could select Emillio, then trade him to a third party.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 29, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Guerrero's crosses are far better than"adequate." Only Burch can cross as well from the left side, and he has to come almost to a complete stop to do so. Ivan can cross while on a dead run. And yes, Peralta isn't worth almost $200,000, but he can do one thing very well: He, and Namoff, are our best headers. And it isn't just Peralta's height, it's the fact that he and Namoff time their jumps perfectly. And as for Dyachenko, he has mad skills that just cry out for good coaching and guidance. I don't think Chad Ashton is that person.

Posted by: b18bolo | October 29, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

From the 2008 MLS Expansion rules....

"Designated Players do NOT have to be protected UNLESS the player has a no trade clause in which case he must be protected".

Now, how does my interpretation not make sense? The rules are saying you can in fact leave them exposed. If the player has a no trade contract, then you HAVE to protect them. Goff himself said earlier today, that technically Seattle could pick Emillio and then deal him to another team.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 29, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

From the 2008 MLS Expansion rules....

"Designated Players do NOT have to be protected UNLESS the player has a no trade clause in which case he must be protected".

Now, how does my interpretation not make sense? The rules are saying you can in fact leave them exposed. If the player has a no trade contract, then you HAVE to protect them. Goff himself said earlier today, that technically Seattle could pick Emillio and then deal him to another team.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 29, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double posts. I'm having all kinds of problems on with this blog today.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 29, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

sorry about the multiple posts. My cpu is having issues with this blog today.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | October 29, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Unrelated Public Interest Notice -- Arsenal-Spurs -- watch it!

Posted by: Kev29 | October 29, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

What, no Match Night thread yet? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | October 29, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

SonicDeathMonkey....your interpretation seems correct. The rule shouldn't be that hard to understand.

United should keep:
Crayton
Thorpe
Namoff
Burch
McTavish
Simms
Quaranta
Moreno
Fred
Doe
Emilio

Expose: Gallardo, Peralta, Martinez, Guerrero, Olsen --> Salaries should be too big for Seattle (or their trade partners) to absorb. Not an indication of whether or not I think they should remain on the team. I'd like to see all 5 back next year (middle 3 at reduced salaries).

Also expose: Dyachenko, Vide, Wells, Mediate, Kirk, our reserves --> Seriously, if any other MLS team wanted any of these players in 2008, I'm sure they were available....

I question whether or not Janicki and Khumalo are even eligible. DCU doesn't own their rights.

If Soehn can be exposed in the draft, that'd be great, too. If not, how about his predictable substitution patterns?

Posted by: DWE4 | October 29, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to evaluate these guys when most of them were playing out of position for most of the season.

Burch is solid on the wing but was brought up as an attacker and it was desperately silly to play him as a center back, let alone judge him as one.

The Gonzalo Twins were pretty solid when healthy and both playing in the center, which was too rarely.

Whoever is defending Dyachenko, I assume you are a blood relative. Get serious. He may be USL2 caliber, at best.

We need to keep Moreno, re-sign Crayton, pray for health from Gallardo and Olsen, and pull off some offseason brilliance.

Posted by: JoeS3 | October 29, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

What, no Match Night thread yet? :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | October 29, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Were you at the playoff game last year?

Posted by: GoUnited | October 29, 2008 4:51 PM
----------------------

Being as that I now live on the west coast, no of course I wasn't there. But I've seen Dyachenko in person enough times (had season tickets from 2000-mid 2007) to know dude isn't all that good. He has to many stupid giveaway, too many dumb challenges/tackles, just too much dumb play.

I say give the guy a raft and let him sail his way out of DC via the Anacostia River.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 29, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Every time I read story that shows the salaries players in MLS make, I want to throw up.

How on earth can you have a player like Moreno wear the armband and only pay him $275K? And they have starters - and I mean solid starters that are making less than what Gallardo and Emilio pay in taxes.

It's like having a built-in locker room cancer.

Posted by: roadkit | October 29, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

So is Poopy McPoop the artist formerly known as Chief Clancy Wiggum?

Posted by: DadRyan | October 29, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Center back should be the number one priority. Janicki looks good but Peralta should go. He is too slow and he makes bad decisions. His distribution out of the back is terrible. McTavish gets more comfortable at CB all the time, but he should be a back-up at that postion -- and indeed, is extremely valuable because he can back-up virtually any position other than Keeper or playmaker. Burch should be a left mid. He lost a whole year of development there because of the need for a body in the back. I like Guerrero and would put him behind Burch to take advantage of that great engine he has and to give Burch an outlet on overlapping runs so that Burch's crosses don't become too predictible.

I'm torn about Fred. The difference in the team's play when he enters as a sub is striking. Only Jaime seems to be more of a difference maker. But his salary is large. And Santino can play the right flank, and perhaps should if Gallardo comes back (and regardless whether we think Gallardo is good value for the money, we are stuck with him, so no point in saying "what if"). I also think Fred could be valuable on the MLS trade market -- I could see a team plugging him in as playmaker, which I think he played in Australia. I've been curious why Soehn didn't try that when Gallardo and Jaime were both out, and my guess is that he didn't like Fred in that position for the same reason he didn't like Gomez there -- he wants his number 10 to pass rather than try to beat defenders. But I'd keep an eye out for a possible trade involving Fred.

Simms and Namoff are good workmanlike MLS players and should be kept. I though both tired down the stretch but Namoff bounced back with a good last game.

Early in the year Martinez looked like the only star from an otherwise busted offseason. His speed and skill with the ball are big assets. If his salary can be reduced (significantly) and if Burch isn't move to left mid, I'd consider putting him there. Capitalize on his skills while reducing his potential to hurt you by being out of position defensively.

Crayton. What can you say? He is a joy to watch. His excursions out of the box are nerve-wracking, but they are high entertainment. Oh, and he's pretty good too. Keep him.

Posted by: regularfan | October 29, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

What I want to see next year:

-----------------Crayton-----------------
Namoff-----McTavish-----Janicki-----Burch
-------------------Simms-----------------
Quaranta/Olsen--------------Fred/Guerrero
------------------Gallardo---------------
---------Moreno--------------------------
-------------------------Emilio----------

Who'd I protect for the expansion draft. I'll start from the back:
1.) Crayton - He earned his share and is way more confident than Wells, so we'll need to restart with a strong keeper.
2.) Namoff - A tireless worker on the right wing. He makes some nice runs and does some nice headers (darn post!) and is pretty much solid in the back.
3.) McTavish - Solid in the center. He's not afraid to take a guy down and he's pretty good at tackling. We need a strong center and he's one of them (janicki is the other)
4.) Burch - A threat on the left wing. He has a nice left foot and a powerful freekick. He's also pretty solid on the left wing (though not without mistakes) and has alot of potential to fill in on the wing if Fred goes
5.) Simms - He's solid in front of the defense and has some nice long shots. He's not arfaid to go to ground and does some nice switching. We need a solid CDM, so why get rid of one (remember BC?)
6.) Quaranta - Nasty on the wing or filling in for Gallardo. Does some nice corners and free kicks and scored some pretty nice goals. He's young so he'll continue to get better (plus he's from Baltimore)
7.) Fred - One of my iffy choices, but Fred is threatining with his speed and his ball skills. If only he was a decent crosser.
8.) Moreno - He's pure class. Perfect at setting up goals and even adds his name to the scoresheet. Plus he's our captian
9.) Janicki - If we sign him. He was extremely solid in every game I saw him play in, especially vs columbus. A stupid choice to not sign him (hint hint tommy)
10.) Guerrero - He's tireless on the wing and does set others up for chances on goals. Like Fred, needs to work on crosses and getting involved more when on the opposite side of the field.
11.) Olsen - Yeah, he's old and tired, but he's also the best right middie I can remember DC having (I've watched religiously since 06). Stupid to leave our heart and soul open to a team that's gonna need service. Plus, I like how he dresses and looks like a caveman
11.) Peralta - Only if Olsen retires. He was good until he got injured. Tall, dangerous on corners and is a wall to the opposing offense. He wouldn't be bad as a sub

Need to go:
Martinez, Dyachenko (has a little potential left, maybe loan him off), Mediate (if he's still injured),

Posted by: Konoha7 | October 29, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I love goff's seat assignments and all the resultant analysis, critique, and so on - but let's face it, other than moreno there's not a single other player on this team that anyone would pick if they were starting a team from scratch -- and that's payne and kasper's fault. An expansion team might have to pick someone but they'll be holding their nose when they make the pick.
Since payne's part owner, and won't fire himself, than at least he should fire kasper for putting this mess together - and soehn too for being such a lousy coach. Wake up ownership! This franchise is at least several years if not a decade away from rebuilding into a contending team.

Posted by: bestmick1 | October 29, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey I'm not afraid to take on all the Dyachenko haters, I have ever since I started posting on this blog ;)

Posted by: GoUnited | October 29, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Nice blog
Question: is there any news if Josha Gros wants to have a shot or is even thinking of coming back?

Posted by: DC_Shady | October 29, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Seating plan a great article.

I see no reason to protect any goalkeeper. Seattle has Keller and would only draft Crayton to trade him, and he's too expensive and too unorthodox for most teams to chase him. Also, with 5 decent picks in the so-called Superdraft, DC's first priority should be to take the best available keeper(s) and second a centerback. There was no natural centerback available in the reserve squad all season - serious mistake.

Someone good does have to be left off the protected list. My suggested list is:

Gallardo (no choice)
Emilio (30 plus goals in 2 seasons is rare)
Moreno (respect demands this)
Fred
Quaranta
Simms
McTavish
Burch
Janicki (may be a great discovery)
Peralta (looked great when paired with janicki)
and then one more. Choose from :

Namoff (Must re-sign him asap - great defender but slowing. Make him too expensive for Seattle to consider. The most at risk player because of trade value - but someone good is going to go. If we lose him, I think McTavish is a natural replacement at right back, and P Carroll is a viable understudy.)

Guerrero (Terrific player but an understudy if team is at full strength)

Olsen (a huge risk to lose - but too risky to draft for trade value -- keep limping until after the draft benny)

Vide.

My pick for the last slot would be Vide. He's He's a hard man at defensive mid -- Simms is tough and durable but not a hard man and DM needs experienced backup. Also he's

Posted by: oz4dcu | October 30, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Seating plan a great article.

I see no reason to protect any goalkeeper. Seattle has Keller and would only draft Crayton to trade him, and he's too expensive and too unorthodox for most teams to chase him. Also, with 5 decent picks in the so-called Superdraft, DC's first priority should be to take the best available keeper(s) and second a centerback. There was no natural centerback available in the reserve squad all season - serious mistake.

Someone good does have to be left off the protected list. My suggested list is:

Gallardo (no choice)
Emilio (30 plus goals in 2 seasons is rare)
Moreno (respect demands this)
Fred
Quaranta
Simms
McTavish
Burch
Janicki (may be a great discovery)
Peralta (looked great when paired with janicki)
and then one more. Choose from :

Namoff (Must re-sign him asap - great defender but slowing. Make him too expensive for Seattle to consider. The most at risk player because of trade value - but someone good is going to go. If we lose him, I think McTavish is a natural replacement at right back, and P Carroll is a viable understudy.)

Guerrero (Terrific player but an understudy if team is at full strength)

Olsen (a huge risk to lose - but too risky to draft for trade value -- keep limping until after the draft benny)

Vide.

My pick for the last slot would be Vide. He's He's a hard man at defensive mid -- Simms is tough and durable but not a hard man and DM needs experienced backup. Also he's

Posted by: oz4dcu | October 30, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Seating Assignments a clever idea.

Someone good is going to be lost in the Seattle draft. My suggested list to protect:

Gallardo (no choice)
Emilio (30 plus goals in 2 seasons is rare, and he is a quality player in this league)
Moreno (respect demands this)
Fred
Quaranta
Simms
McTavish
Janicki
Peralta (looked strong paired w' janicki as twin CBs. All criticism aside - and he's easy to criticize - team defence missed him when he was out.)
Burch (best option at LB

and then choose one more.

Choose one of the following 4.

Namoff. Team's best defender but may be slowing. Re-sign ASAP and hopefully make him too expensive for Seattle to consider, even as a draft and trade option. But someone good must be lost. Also I think McTavish is a viable long-term replacement at RB and P Carroll would be a fair backup. It would be a loss the team could recover from.

Guerrero. Terrific player but an expensive backup on a full strength squad. Hard to replace, valuable but maybe not critical to a winning squad.

Olsen. Heart and soul, but a physical risk. Likely too big a risk for Seattle to mess with. Keep limping till after the draft Benny.

Vide. A hard man at DM -- Simms is tough and durable but not hard. Vide gave DM some edge and an experienced back up. Also very cheap compared to the other 3 so may be most at risk in the draft.

My pick would be to protect Vide.

There is no compelling reason to protect Doe or any of the goalkeepers (Crayton is too unorthodox and expensive for Seattle to take either as a back up to Keller or to draft and trade). There is no clear case to protect anyone else on the roster (though I like Cordeiro, Khumalo, and Zaher).

With 5 decent picks in the Superdraft United's number one priority must first be the best keeper(s) available, and second a hard, fast center back. There are rarely any decent forwards available. Also they need to clear some salary space so they can sign drafted players.

Brian Clough, the great English manager, used to preach that a team needed 3 players - a keeper, a center back, and a center forward -- and 8 other guys to run, but those 3 slots had to be filled before anything could happen. We only had one this year, and no reserve depth. Hopefully this will be changed.

Hope someone reads this

Posted by: oz4dcu | October 30, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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