DC United is a club that's proud of its tradition. So what kind of milestones might players on the team hit this season, and where will that rank them in the team's history? For this FanPost, I'm just looking at the tremendous Wikipedia page (recently updated by our own Ben Bromley), All-Time D.C. United Roster. It's an invaluable resource.
The roster underwent a lot of turnover, and there's not a whole lot of longstanding United players left. The longest tenured player is Chris Pontius. He's currently at 123 games played for United. If he plays in 27 games (which, given his injury history and increased positional competition, could be a stretch), he'd get to 150 games for United, something only seven players have done. Pontius would leapfrog Carey Talley, Christian Gomez, Jeff Agoos, and Eddie Pope to play the 8th most games in United's history.
Perry Kitchen has the next most games played, with 94. He seems a good bet to play at least 30 games, which would tie him with Talley and Gomez. Kitchen seems like a true building block for the team, and has been a stalwart since he was a teenager. Still, he'd have to average 30 games played a season for the next eight seasons before he'd catch the all-time leader. That, of course, is Jaime Moreno with 329.
Which outfield player on our current roster has the third most games for United? Turns out it's the prodigal son, Bobby Boswell. He's at 80. He should get to 100 games pretty easily, passing Dejan Jakovic, and 110 would tie him with Josh Gros.
Another defender, Chris Korb, is next at 68. He's tied with two club legends, Raul Diaz Arce and Dwayne De Rosario, so his next game played will see him move past them. Korb has seen a lot of playing time in the last three seasons, but may find playing time harder to come by this season.
The top two goalies in United history are Troy Perkins (99 games played) and Nick Rimando (98). Bill Hamid is rapidly closing on them. He's at 85, and should reasonably expect to pass both this season. I think we can expect the backup keeper to make ten starts, but that would still mean Hamid ends the season with 109 games started, far and away the most in team history. Speaking of his backup, Joe Willis just needs three games to move into seventh place (that would be 26). Perhaps Andrew Dykstra will win the #2 role, and earn his first appearance for DC.
Chris Pontius currently has 27 goals, tied with Dwayne De Rosario for 8th most in United history (damn, De Ro was good). He's two away from tying his coach, Ben Olsen at 29, and I think we would all expect Pontius to reach that mark. From there, he'd need five goals to catch Marco Etcheverry, and two more to match Roy Lassiter. That is, if he scores nine goals this season, he'd reach the top five goalscorers in United history with 36. Nine goals would represent a great year from Pontius, likely a Best XI year. But he's shown he can do that in the past. Reach for the stars, Party Boy!
Nick DeLeon has eight goals in his career. If he were to match the six from his rookie season, he'd be at 14, tying him with John Harkes, Tony Sanneh, and A.J. Wood. (As a quick aside, Tony Sanneh had 14 goals and 25 assists for United in just 71 games - as a fullback. Damn.)
Bobby Boswell would need ten goals to match Sanneh as the highest scoring defender in United history. That seems unlikely, but an excellent year from him could see him tie Carey Talley for second place, with ten goals.
Ten goals is what I'm expecting out of Eddie Johnson. With the team needing to find its rhythm, a lack of crossing ability like Mauro Rosales provided, and missing time to the World Cup, I think ten would be a reasonable expectation out of the Grown Ass Man. If he makes it there, he'd be with Talley and Andy Najar. Eleven goals would tie him with Freddy Adu, Fred, and Charlie Davies.
I think five goals from Luis Silva would be acceptable. That would give him 8, tying him with Hall of Tradition members Richie Williams and Eddie Pope. Current Red Bull Bobby Convey also has 8, and so does Nick DeLeon, entering this season.
Five goals would be a terrific number for Conor Doyle. The Free Man from Derby has scored his only professional goals for our club (and only against Montreal). But if he were to get five, taking his total to 7, he'd join luminaries John Maessner, Maicon Santos, and Ryan Nelsen.
For a team that saw its greatest successes with dynamic #10s like Marco Etcheverry and Christian Gomez, there have not been a ton of great distributors recently. Chris Pontius once again leads the active duty list with 16. One more will bring him into a tie for tenth place on the all-time list, joining Lassiter, Adu, Fred, and Agoos. Five assists would tie him with De Ro for ninth place, with 21.
Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, and Chris Korb all have five assists for United. Korb probably won't keep pace this season, but it would be great to see Nicky D and Perry both racking up assists at the same rate. Kitchen figures to play more of an anchor role this year, so if he's still able to pick up assists from playing deeply, he's going to be one of the most valuable players in MLS.
Bobby Boswell had four assists in his first three seasons in DC. His goal at the end of this year is to finish ahead of Korb on the all-time list.
Luis Silva and Lewis Neal both have a pair of assists. For Silva, we'd certainly like to see that number jump. If he were to get five assists this year, he'd tie Alecko Eskandarian, Kris Kelderman, Branko Boskovic, and Clyde Simms with seven for his United career.
I mentioned that Hamid is just below Rimando and Perkins as the top goalies in United history. However, his performance is right up there with them. Rimando allowed 121 goals in 98 games for a 1.23 GAA, and Perkins allowed 131 in 99 games, for a 1.32 GAA. Hamid has allowed 110 goals in 85 games, giving him a quite respectable 1.29 GAA. He's also kept 20 clean sheets. With the stouter defense in front of him, he should get the four he'd need to tie Perkins. Rimando kept 29 clean sheets, which would be reachable for Hamid but Bill will need a terrific season to get that. Let's hope he has one!
Joe Willis's 1.89 GAA cements his backup status, but he has kept four clean sheets. One more would tie him with Louis Crayton, Josh Wicks, and Tom Presthus.
Let's hope our boys can put up some big, big numbers this season! Mostly, as we enter this 19th season of club history, we've got actual history and benchmarks for the club and players to pass. When someone becomes a top five scorer for this club, that means something. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's a golden age to be a fan of MLS.
Rimando - 1.23 GAA
Perkins - 1.32 GAA
Hamid - 1.29 GAA