As voting on the DC United defenders draws to a close, we seem to have finally found the most polarizing player on the United roster. No one should be surprised that that player would be Marc Burch, who is currently sitting at exactly 50% River and 50% Life at the time of this posting. Moving on now to our final edition of River or Life for DC United players, we turn to the goalkeepers, where there may be a few more difficult voting decisions to make. A reminder for those who are new, a vote for River means to send him down the river, and a vote for Life means to keep him around next year.
Joining the team in 2009 to very little fanfare, Josh Wicks was acquired via trade as what most of us thought would be a stopgap while Louis Crayton recovered from injury. As it turned out, Wicks did so well to impress the coaches and fans that he was named the team's regular starter. He made some big saves for us this year, but his occasional lack of discipline and mediocre 1.40 goals against average might not be enough to keep his job safe in 2010.
Milos Kocic was drafted by United in the second round of the 2009 MLS Superdraft to be the team's goalkeeper of the future. Apparently the future is not now, because DC didn't have enough confidence in him to give Kocic a starting role late in the season after Wicks' injury, turning instead to a USL player as a temporary replacement. Kocic did look good at times though when given a chance in early Open Cup and CCL matches.
United acquired Steve Cronin via loan from Portland in a last ditch effort to make the playoffs and advance in the CCL. While the USL Goalkeeper of the Year allowed only 3 goals in 3 matches, it still wasn't enough to do either. DCU might have a hard time retaining Cronin for the 2010 season since he is not under contract with the team and will surely garner interest from other clubs after a great year. Makes you wonder what our record would have looked like if he was in a United jersey from the start...
Signed late in September from the DCU Academy, Bill Hamid didn't see any action with the first team in 2009, but could be given a chance to compete for a spot on the gameday roster in the near future. All we've heard from the front office is that Hamid is big, quick, and has excellent leadership ability. I don't know about you, but it sure makes me feel old to look at Hamid's bio and see that he was born in 1990.