Ben Olsen... Bring Back Accountability.



It is very possible that the lion's days are numbered.

Some of his maddening in-actions made sense. In a general view, the team has been generating chances that could be easily converted, and it is entirely realistic that each of the last 3 games could have yielded at least 2 more goals in United's favor. So Olsen or the optimistic fan could argue that we're just on the edge of putting all the pieces together and becoming the team that we were last season. But it will be impossible because we're missing something from last year.

No, its not Andy Najar, its not Branko Boskovic, and its not Hamdi Salihi.

Olsen stopped performance-based accountability. At the beginning of last season, we saw some pretty ballsy line-up changes that relegated both Najar and Pontius to the bench when they didn't produce. Despite being established members of the team, they rode the bench after any production less than acceptable, in favor of guys like the unheard-of Nick DeLeon. And we definitely asked some questions. Not for long though. He had nothing to lose and managed to play his way into becoming a key-man.

That culture developed into a constant state of readiness. We had an incredible run last year, and consequently this year, we saw these guys (and us) come into this season with huge expectations and optimism. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but those guys felt like they were coming into this season already proved in the last. But lets be clear: none of those guys are superstars, and they weren't last year. We have no Graham Zusis, no Landon Donovans, no Brad Davises, and no Wondolowskis. Period. There are simply no guys that have proven themselves consistently enough on this team that they are worth leaving in a line up and waiting on.

It was a mistake in the first weeks of this season to leave in guys who had "almost" streaks. Stagnant "good idea" plays don't change the game. Great chances without a finish are 0 goals and 0 points.

Yes, we have a huge amount of talent on this team. We love the guys and personalities. We want those mainstays that succeeded last year to succeed again.

But they have to earn their way back onto that field in games. Chris Pontius scored 12 goals last season after being relegated to the bench. Andy became one of the most consistent, technical, and free-flowing players after his time there. Bill Hamid came roaring back to life after having his confidence crushed and being toppled by a performing Joe Willis. Those guys were not trying to play the way they did the day before, and they weren't trying to play any MLS-ball that had been proven in the past. They went with the game, and we were tenacious for it. We developed a deep bench for it. We were 2nd place in the east for it.

Bad performance simply must have accountability. I think Benny may go, but I will be the first to give him heaps of even more respect if he takes something from this, responds in a positive way, and steers us back toward an attitude of winning ways that secures us next game, the game after that, and the game after that.


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