It's been over two weeks now since long-time D.C. United staff members like Stephen Zack and Kyle Sheldon (among others) packed up their desks at RFK Stadium. We were confused then, and we're still confused now.
When the layoffs happened, we took the team to task. But we also gave them a way out. We expressed our frustration with the lack of loyalty to the front office members with which we as fans felt most connected. And then we also asked for an explanation.
Well we're still waiting.
We remain concerned that United's path for the near future will look different from its path in the recent past. We really liked the recent past! So far, the only tangible changes have come in the front office, with Kevin Payne being allowed to move on to another club, and with at seven other executives and staff members being shown the door. We don't know what else may have changed behind the scenes.
The only definitive positive tangible change has been the addition of Kurt Morsink as the Scouting Coordinator. It's a positive because its a new position that was created this year to help the team with its apparent international scouting deficiencies. But can we really give ownership props for hiring Morsink? I don't mean him any disrespect by wondering whether or not he was even the best candidate for the job. Morsink seems to have been hired out of convenience - he was available, he knows soccer, and he speaks Spanish. Were those the only qualifications needed? How deep a job search did the team conduct before hiring Morsink as the Scouting Coordinator?
Other than the Morsink hiring, and the continuation of the club's relationship with VW, the new ownership has done little to earn our trust or our appreciation. They've given us plenty of talk - talk of meetings with officials and of proverbial machetes to cut red tape and of the desire to build an international brand. As fans though, we can demand more than just talk.
I'm ready to see some action. Enough talk. Give us a new signing that fits the squad. Give us an exciting new marketing campaign. Give us an announcement on progress with a soccer specific stadium.
Short of that, at least give us a statement on your direction for D.C. United. Give us some assurances that the 2013 United will look more like the 2012 United than the 2012 New York Red Bulls or 2012 Chivas USA. Give us your word that Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper will remain solely responsible for soccer decisions/operations without interference.
Give us that, and we'll give you our trust in return.