The Last Word On The Last Loss Of 2013 (Finally!)

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

If we're being logical, the 2013 season has been over for D.C. United since, what, June? May maybe? Well now it is finally THANKFULLY actually over. Here is the very last word.

We've spent the last three years referring to 2010 as "the season not to be named." Now that D.C. United has just finished a regular season clearly worse than that one, I guess we can start talking about 2010 again.

And yet it's hard to deny that this 2013 team has so much more talent than that 2010 team. I'll never understand this year. I'm forever grateful that it's finally over.

Their Words:

- Ben Olsen (dcunited.com): "We had to scramble a little bit, but again we did enough to get the win and we just didn’t pull off some of the plays that mattered. Barnes is a big boy. He got himself across on a set piece. We knew we were going to be playing Russian Roulette on set pieces all night long. They bit us on one, but the guy makes a pretty good play."

- Dwayne De Rosario (dcunited.com): "I think a lot of us could do a lot of improvement in the offseason, mentally and physically, preparation-wise. So, all of us have to come to the table next year, first and foremost, look in the mirror, say, ‘What could I have done better?’ And as a group, how can we move forward and learn from our mistakes"

- Steven Goff (Washington Post): "D.C. United etched itself into MLS history again Sunday, but on this glum occasion at RFK Stadium, there were no trophies nor celebrations involved. As the final whistle sounded in a 2-1 defeat to the Houston Dynamo, the league’s most decorated organization began to come to terms with setting the record for fewest victories in a season."

- Richard Farley (Pro Soccer Talk): "The youngsters didn’t make progress. Health issues persisted. Olsen struggled to motivate his team or find solutions, and none of the team’s holes were filled. They failed to find a number nine. Perry Kitchen went without a consistent partner in midfield. The defense was still bad. The league’s second worst defense was complemented by the league’s worst attack, the type of perfectly inept storm that’s necessary to set records."

- Pablo Maurer (DCist): "In the end, it would be the Dynamo who marched on to the MLS playoffs, and D.C. who marched into the wrong end of the record books. Of all of the players who I asked to reflect on United’s lackluster campaign, Hamid was the one, perhaps, who summed it up most appropriately: "It fucking sucks."

My Words:

- It seemed like the majority of United's MLS-worst 22 goals scored came from mostly individual efforts. From Rafael's rocket early in the season (feels like years ago, right?) to Jared Jeffrey's bomb against Toronto FC last month, United hasn't had very many "Team Goals." That's what they scored yesterday though with Kyle Porter very simply finishing off an absolutely perfect cross from Chris Pontius that was set up by Luis Silva. For a team that's so often so unwilling to pull the trigger on the attack, it's nice to see that D.C. is still capable of this sort of play every so often.

- A Houston defender just fouled Chris Pontius again.

- James Riley is very obviously not a center back, and yet his name has now been added to the long list of names that have started ahead of Conor Shanosky at center back this year.

- Talk of the "youth movement" at RFK often implies that there's been some semblance of success to it. That's overblown. Let's not forget that United earned just a single point in its last six matches. Each has done some nice things, but we can't be satisfied with what we've gotten so far out of guys like Luis Silva, Conor Doyle, and Jared Jeffrey. Not until they start delivering some actual results.

- Congratulations to the New York Red Bulls on winning the same number of trophies this year as the worst team in MLS history. We entered this year with a 12-trophy lead on the Metros, and that's how we'll finish it. Keep in mind though that 7 of New York's 59 points came from D.C. We could have prevented them from winning the Supporters' Shield, but we didn't. Worse than that, United handed the maximum of 9 points each to the Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire, the fourth and sixth place teams in the Eastern Conference. That's embarrassing. Major changes are vital.

The Last Word:

Here's a comprehensive list of players that I care about returning to the roster next season: Chris Pontius, Nick DeLeon, Bill Hamid, Ethan White, Perry Kitchen, and Lewis Neal. That's who I want to build around. All others are disposable. Sure, there are others who I wouldn't mind keeping - Chris Korb and Jared Jeffrey for example - but I wouldn't be that upset to lose them either. If a complete overhaul is what Olsen thinks this team needs, I'm okay with that.

I trust in Ben Olsen. That was a common refrain among this fan base last year, but I haven't heard it very frequently in 2013. I'm invoking it here because I think its important that we show our coach some confidence heading into what is likely to be a very cumbersome and very busy offseason.

Inevitably, there will be some unpopular decisions. Inevitably, United will choose to keep a player that we'd rather see depart, because it would be rather impossible to turn over 23 players of a 29-man roster in just four months. We should trust in Olsen that he is doing what he believes is right for United (unless its keeping Lionard Pajoy).

I trust that Olsen is very aware of how much this United team sucks, even though he doesn't say it to the press. Olsen rightly recognizes that big changes must be made, and I trust that he'll make them.

The season is over. The offseason begins right now. Finally.

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