We're spending the first month or so of the D.C. United offseason grading each player on the roster with an approval rating. A vote for APPROVE means you were satisfied with the player's performance and want to see him back in D.C. next season. A vote for DISAPPROVE means you want United to move on without him. There is no middle ground, so please leave salary and contract implications out of your decision.
When we were debating the qualities of Austin da Luz earlier this month, the Stephen King standard was proposed - a suggestion that a player must be better than King to get an Approve rating. So then how do we grade King himself?
The midfielder was utilized throughout the season on occasion as the more attacking half of a central midfield partnership. In certain situations, he was asked to hold back and act mainly as an outlet for the defenders behind him and as the chief distributor to link the back with the front, allowing Clyde Simms to focus more on being the disrupter. Other times though, King would get forward into and around the box, a spot where he's been less than lethal since joining United last season.
King finished the season with just a single goal and no assists in 11 starts and 20 total appearances. Not a great stat line for an attacking midfielder, especially since that goal came on a fairly simple shot in the lopsided 4-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. But the 2011 King was a distinct improvement over the 2010 King. And through mid-September, United was undefeated in matches that featured King, with a 5-0-8 record.
He may not be a player to build the roster around, but King was a vital part of United in 2011. Should he be in 2012?