2010 was undoubtedly the worst year in the 15-year history of D.C. United. But that doesn't mean that it didn't still have its moments.
I went through the Black And Red United archives and came up with the following list of five positive and memorable moments for the team. Please feel free to share your own below. And here's to 2011 having at least 10 happy moments instead.
5. Victory in Seattle - The match on June 10th was a rare road win for United, and it matched the highest total of goals the team would score all year. It was also probably the only match in 2010 in which Chris Pontius looked like a future national team candidate like he did in 2009. Pontius was an Adam Cristman tap-in away from a hat trick, and United beat its west coast rival Seattle Sounders.
4. A sigh of relief in Toronto - This moment probably wouldn't make the list of many others, but it stands out for me because of how much it was deserved. Julius James scored in the 80th minute against Toronto FC on Sep. 11 to give United a 1-0 victory. The fact that we dominated possession wasn't a surprise, because that's something that we had done often enough. But actually getting a goal and a win from all that possession was definitely a change of pace.3. Ben Olsen hired as head coach - As improbable as it would have sounded even just a few weeks earlier, Olsen's hiring on November 28 was met with mixed emotions. Really, it was the only possible outcome for a team so dedicated to Tradition and without a large enough bank account to pursue any higher profile candidates. Olsen will get an opportunity in 2011 to do what his recent predecessors could not.
2. Farewell to No. 99 - Despite him being unceremoniously cast off by Kevin Payne, dcunited.com spent the final month of the season praising Jaime Moreno. Scoring a goal in his final match was really the only way for Moreno to go out. And Moreno joining Olsen on the sidelines after being subbed out was quite fitting and ironic.
1. The Rookie of the Year scores in overtime - In the play-in match to reach the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, Andy Najar entered the match during extra time, and single-handedly scored United's greatest goal of the season. I wrote later that it was one of the most memorable moments of United's recent history, and I think that was due in part to it being the first time that many of us realized just how freaking awesome this kid is.