Javier Morales and Marc Burch - two free kick specialists
Last month, we reviewed our New Years' Resolutions from 2010 , and concluded that D.C. United had addressed some of the simpler issues from the previous season. They plucked the low-hanging fruit. But larger issues that have been plaguing the organization for years upon years remained major obstacles to success. Two of those issues are our first two resolutions this year.
So when writing our resolutions for next season, we're setting some lofty goals. But they are goals that need to be priorities so they don't continue to hold our club back.
Our New Years' Resolutions for D.C. United for 2011 are as follows:
1. Make some progress on the stadium . Our fifth goal from last year now becomes No. 1. Not much has changed in the last year regarding the stadium - I still don't think United considers Baltimore to be a serious option. As we've discussed , the best sign for potential progress is that the construction industry in D.C. is once again growing. Now is the time for United to act. There are several developers with money to spend in the District right now. Partner up and get to work.
2. If you can't control injuries, get deeper. Curt Onalfo was supposed to limit injuries with his "scientific approach to training", which turned out to be very similar to Josh Lyman's "secret plan to fight inflation." It sounded good, but proved to be BS. By adopting a movement towards youth, United should conceivably be reducing the number of injuries suffered in 2011. But the team still must plan for injuries by making sure to have capable depth at every position.
3. Find a striker who can score consistently. There wasn't a single player on United's 2010 roster capable of scoring 10 goals. True, it would be hard for United to score fewer goals in 2011 than they did last year, but the team must find a reliable player to stick at the top of the formation who is going to lead the front line and occassionally tally a goal or two all on his own.
4. Score from free kicks. Christian Gomez was decent as a free kick specialist, but not since Marco Etcheverry has D.C. had a player who was a threat to score from a free kick whenever he's near the box. I look around the league and get jealous of David Beckham and Javier Morales . Maybe that guy is currently on our roster. Maybe Santino Quaranta can improve on his placement or Marc Burch can improve on his accuracy. Or maybe the player isn't on our roster yet, but soon should be.
5. Continue to build organically. I don't know if our front office would agree, but I personally don't think we should go into the 2011 season expecting to be a playoff team. This isn't to say that the playoffs shouldn't be the goal, but the last thing I want United to do is trade away a second round draft pick for an older player who could push us over the top. The team has made some quality youth-oriented moves since Ben Olsen took over. I'd like to see that continue this season.
Those are my five resolutions for United in 2011. What are yours?