The Washington Post

Bad year and weird year for D.C. United

(D.C. United)
(D.C. United)

It’s been an awful season at RFK Stadium. It’s also been a strange one.

All of these things happened. Really.

1. More victories in five U.S. Open Cup matches than the first 32 MLS games. (4-0-1 vs. 3-22-7)

2. Winless on the road in league play but perfect in the last two tournament away matches. (semifinals at Chicago, final at Real Salt Lake)

3. A veteran defender retired to become a doctor. (Robbie Russell)

4. A rookie enrolled at George Washington University, balancing soccer and studies. (Collin Martin)

5. A veteran midfielder had surgery on one knee in May and on the other in July. (Marcelo Saragosa)

6. The captain sat out the first two matches after head-butting a former teammate in the preseason finale. (Dwayne De Rosario on Danny Cruz)

7. A young designated player made four starts before being released. (Rafael)

8. A veteran defender appeared on HBO’s “Real Sports.” (James Riley, talking about Chivas USA’s hiring practices)

9. Hornets infested the press box. (Long live RFK)

10. Harbinger: Current and former players appeared in a rom-com film released last winter. On Rotten Tomatoes, it garnered 4% approval. (“Playing for Keeps”)

11. United was credited (discredited?) with four own goals. A fifth was later overturned. United’s leading scorers have posted three goals apiece. (De Rosario and Luis Silva)

12. A player acquired in a mid-season trade with Vancouver appeared in five league matches before being sold overseas, at his request. (Alain Rochat)

13. The ninth-leading scorer in MLS history struck once — in a friendly against Chivas Guadalajara, assisted by a player almost half his age. (Carlos Ruiz from Michael Seaton)

14. The club’s primary investor persuaded United to acquire a compatriot. That player has not spent a minute on the field in the league or tournament and the club didn’t bother to loan him to the third-division affiliate in Richmond. He has been in Indonesia for months but remains on the roster. (Erick Thohir and Syamsir Alam)

15. The same investor purchased a majority stake in an Italian Serie A side this week. (Inter Milan)

16. United is the only club to avoid receiving a red card in league play but earned two in the Open Cup opener. (Ruiz and Chris Korb)

17. Attendance is barely running ahead of a first-year women’s club. (13,641 vs. Portland Thorns’ 13,320. Disclaimer: The Thorns were an NWSL outlier.)

18. United earned points against playoff contenders New York, Los Angeles, Real Salt Lake, Kansas City, Montreal, Colorado, San Jose and New England but just one out of a possible 12 in four combined matches against MLS’s other woeful sides. (Toronto and Chivas USA)

19. A trophy was assigned its own seat on a flight from Salt Lake City. (Open Cup, baby!)

20. The start of a match at Columbus was delayed because the scoreboard caught fire.

21. Plans for a new stadium were unveiled. (Buzzard Point awaits. Maybe.)

Weird, indeed.


Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.



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Steven Goff · October 16, 2013