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United's Hall of Tradition

John Harkes, Marco Etcheverry and Jeff Agoos have already been honored by DCU for their career excellence.

Next up: Raul Diaz Arce or Richie Williams.

Diaz Arce, a Salvadoran forward, scored 38 goals in United's first two seasons. After spending time with New England, San Jose and Tampa Bay, he returned to score five goals in 2000 and once in 2001. In six playoff games in 1996, he had six goals. Beyond the numbers, he had a major impact on attendance in the early years, and the team's decision to trade him damaged relations with the Salvadoran community. Diaz Arce is now working for the Chicago Magic's youth developmental academy.

Williams, a tenacious defensive midfielder from the University of Virginia, made 139 starts between 1996 and 2000 with eight goals and 26 assists. He was back with the club in 2002. Statistics aside, Williams did the dirty work in support of playmaker Etcheverry. He is now an assistant coach with New York.

Voting is underway at the club's Web site and will be available all week. The winner will be announced late next week and honored at a match this fall.

Who do you think should be inducted this year?

By Steve Goff  |  August 18, 2009; 4:17 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Matchnight: United-Marathon


Richie!!!!!!! (as said in La Bamba)

Posted by: mcontento | August 18, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

As fondly as I look back on the Magic Triangle with RDA, Richie Williams is one of the most underrated players ever to don the black and red. He did the dirty work that let those great teams be great. So my vote goes to ABMOD.

Posted by: gocaps2 | August 18, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

RDA. Part of the "magic triangle," he was a irreplaceable part of our early success.

As for Richie Williams, anybody can be a thug. I'm glad we had him to back up Diablo, but a thug is just a thug and thugs don't make it into Halls of Anything.

Posted by: uac1530 | August 18, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Richie Williams had 8 career goals? That means, at least 8 times in his career, he did play the ball forward. Who knew?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 18, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

7 of those 8 goals he did have his back to the goal.

Posted by: Tweaked | August 18, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

C. Neither.

Why do we have to induct anyone? There are only a few in my mind that even deserve consideration.

Posted by: delantero | August 18, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

-RDA easily.

Off topic but FSC did a good to great job of today's UCL. While ESPN has shown preliminary matches before, never have they given us so many choices (FC Sheriff v Olympiacos, Arsenal v Celtic, and Stuttgart v PT -to odd spelling). The HD in the Arsenal game looked great too, and glad to see they used SKY announcers.

@OWNTF: since no one else complimented you on it, I will. Loved the Hunter S. Thompson plug. Come on people, the greatest gonzo journalist!

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 18, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The HD in the Arsenal game looked great too, and glad to see they used SKY announcers.

Posted by: grubbsbl | August 18, 2009 4:48 PM

They were UEFA provided commentators - but point taken! At least it wasn't Bretos!

I'm looking forward to watching some via my DVR

Posted by: Kev29 | August 18, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Why is Eddie Pope not nominated? Has he not been retired for the requisite period?

Posted by: granadoskerry | August 18, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

At least Richie and RDA didn't want to chuff off international play!!!

Posted by: Section117 | August 18, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

ABMOD = Ankle Biting Midget of Death = Richie Williams.

RDA had a much shorter tenure, and the vast majority of those trucho fans that he brought with him are no longer United fans.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 18, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, why do we have to nominate anyone? If I had to pick one of those two I'd go with RDA but seems like the hall of tradition is going to have everyone who ever played more than 3 seasons with DCU.

Posted by: rockotodd | August 18, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

G. E. Pope, already. What's not to like? Let's hope he isn't held up because the f.o. has its nose out of joint due to Pope's position with the union.

Posted by: CDRHoek | August 18, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Williams' tactical game was very much underappreciated, and he was probably the most technically strong player on the field for United. Offensively, he complemented Marco very well. Crucial to United's success then.

But he was no Mario Gori.

Posted by: joedoc1 | August 18, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse


Completely agree. This should be something special, not just a list of players who did well while they were here. I didn't even like Agoos getting in; there was never a point in which he was our best defender.

The current list of players should be Harkes and Etcheverry. Whenever Pope becomes eligible, he's in. Moreno and Olsen are obviously on there the instant they're eligible. That should be it within the next 5-10 years.

Diaz Arce and Williams were both good players, but come on. As good, as important, or as beloved as Etcheverry? They're nowhere even close.

Let's not turn the Hall of Tradition into the Hall of Good Players. If the end of a season comes and there's no one worth putting up there, then don't put anyone up there.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 18, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Completely agree. This should be something special, not just a list of players who did well while they were here. I didn't even like Agoos getting in; there was never a point in which he was our best defender.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 18, 2009 6:03 PM

This. Both the overall nature of the list, and your point about Agoos specifically.

... Harkes and Etcheverry...Pope ...Moreno and Olsen ... That should be it within the next 5-10 years.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 18, 2009 6:03 PM


Posted by: CDRHoek | August 18, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

RDA and Richie Williams are both deserving.

BUT, how Eddie Pope is not up there is a travesty. He should have been there before Agoos and Harkes.

Posted by: Barracudas | August 18, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Sad you guys forget how HUGE Diaz Arce was in the 1st two playoff years...he had CLUTCH Goal after Clutch goal...and he wasn't beloved??? Oh my goodness, do you guys NOT remember how mad the fans were when got traded? Fans would show up the next two seasons at RFK to ROOT FOR THE OPPONENTS, and when Diaz Arce came with NE and San Jose, the stadium was majorly BLUE and WHITE...

anyways, here are two Diaz Arce videos for you guys who have forgotten...

I will definitely vote for Raul and glad to see DCU finally give him his due.

Posted by: ESFan21 | August 18, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Come on guys, you gotta love Richie.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 18, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Arce definately, he was a pleasure to watch. But, if you're going to put him in, you have to put in Roy Lassiter....

Sorry, but Richie Williams doesnt deserve to be in that group.

Posted by: hacksaw | August 18, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree that no one should get in this year unless Eddie Pope is eligible. People constantly devalue "Halls" by letting in people who shouldn't be there. Jaime and Ben Olsen should go and that's it.

Posted by: lawrenceterp | August 18, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse


I'd consider Nelsen, but most of his time in DC happened to coincide with a very poor era (not his fault, but still). However, if Agoos is on there, Nelsen has a decent argument. The slippery slope begins anew!


That's quite a leap, taking the idea that Diaz Arce was a good player but not a club legend to mean that we've forgotten what he did or the reaction of a portion of the fan base to his trade.

Good player for 2 years, in my mind, does not equal the icon status of Etcheverry or what Moreno will have when he retires. As hacksaw points out, Roy Lassiter had similar numbers and scored crucial goals, and I highly doubt anyone will be clamoring for him to be similarly honored.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 18, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

If I recall, wasn't Diaz Arce involved in some kind of rape charge with Mario Gori? Or was it drugs?

Posted by: alan19 | August 18, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

WHY DONT WE HONOR THE WHOLE '96 SQUAD? Cause if im not mistaken all worked as a whole. Either one was crucial to United at one point or another.

RDA was piece to the golden triangle. Ri-dget was key piece in the D.

I would vote RDA regardless but I just cant see why DCU needs to make such an exclusive club that quite frankly belongs to the original 23 (cant remember the total players in '96).

They are DCU Originals.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 18, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

If I recall, wasn't Diaz Arce involved in some kind of rape charge with Mario Gori? Or was it drugs?

Posted by: alan19 | August 18, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse
It was a false charge last I heard...

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 18, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Williams should be automatically DQ'd because he works (worked?) for the Red Bulls. Yes, I know Harkesy did too, but I think he was inducted before he turned Benedict Arnold on us.

Posted by: delantero | August 18, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Lassiter? He scored once for every 5 times he was offsides, at least.

Posted by: delantero | August 18, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Let's look at the cold hard facts.

Will there be a night to honor the inductee? If so, Diaz Arce should a shoo-in. He will sell a bunch of tickets and maybe mend some fences with the Salvadorean community.

Those are the facts that matter.

Posted by: fischy | August 18, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Wee Man!

Posted by: Senor_Funk | August 18, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

They both deserve it.

Not really trying to play Devil's advocate but why does it have to be only the superstars of the league? The Redskins had all kinds of players up on the ring at RFK and there's tons of local sports names on the wall at the north end of the field - most whom didn't even have anything to do with events at RFK.

I think almost anyone who played a key role on multiple championship teams deserves to be included.

No need for any real fans to try to put down Richie or Raul or Lassiter or Pope, they all deserve it!

Let the fans celebrate.

Who was better?

Larry Brown or Raul Diaz Arce?

Dave Butz or Richie Williams?

And, most importantly, what's the lineup for the Marathon game tonight?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 18, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking about this a couple of weeks ago, believe it or not. And I totally agree that Pope should be next. And should have been before Agoos.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 18, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Between the two, hands down it would be Raul Diaz Arce. If you compare the two in the first two season of DC history, I think Raul's Goals were more critical to the success of wining the championship the first two years, than Richie's performance.

Posted by: RM27 | August 18, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Raul Diaz Arce was, hands down, one of the best players ever to play in MLS, period. In the early years with DC United, he played at every bit the high level that Etcheverry and Moreno did. He was 1/3 of the original Golden Triangle for DC United. Because he was something very special among a very special group (the 96ers), he deserves to get in, no question about it.

I think Ritchie deserves to get in, too. His heart and grit rival Ben Olsen's. He was a vital cog in the defensive mdfield, charged with and aquitted himself exceedingly well shutting down the Valderramas, Nowaks, and Ciefuegos' of the world, and also winning the ball and getting it to Maestro Etcheverry. His ferocious tenacity earned him the moniker ABMOD. As a vital part of DCU lore, Ritchie should also get in.

Posted by: Ron16 | August 19, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Raul Diaz Arce - no doubt about it - one of the key players to create the whole sense of DCU tradition. Genuine talent.

Richie Williams was an excellent player - but one of many of his type that you see over the years. Great player for the club but really out of the ordinary.

But I'm OK with the idea of honoring good club careers -- so induct BOTH

Also why isn't Johann Cruyff inducted into the Washington Hall of Stars or whatever that list is? Why isn't Etcheverry?

Posted by: oz4dcu | August 21, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

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