D.C. United Goat of the Month for September 2013 - POLL

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

As great as lifting a trophy was to start October, the month of September was pretty bleak for D.C. United fans. Vote here for who will carry the lion's share of the blame for the failures of the ninth month of 2013.

It took less than one day in October to surpass everything D.C. United had accomplished so far in 2013 (which, admittedly, ain't much). Had the U.S. Open Cup final come a day earlier, this poll (and the Player of the Month poll) would probably look a bit different, at least in tone. But as it stands, somebody has to bear the blame for a winless September that saw United claim a single point while losing to Chivas USA and Toronto FC.

Last month, our dubious crown, by virtue of 62% of votes case, went to Dejan Jakovic after a disastrous August for the Canadian international. Adding his name to our list of goats from 2013:

This month, the nominees are a bit harder to cull, and I expect the votes will be somewhat more spread around. The nominees for September are:

Every single attacking player on the team, jointly and severally: I know I said I wanted to get away from these groupings, but last month's offensive performance was so far below inadequate that I can't pick out any individuals who were clearly more at-fault than the rest. So they all get the nod.

Every single defensive player on the team, jointly and severally: Noticing a theme? The defense wasn't nearly as bad as it was even as recently as August, but its performances in September wouldn't confuse anybody for competent" or "decent" - everybody from the keepers up to the holding midfielders gets lumped into this nomination.

The training staff: Injuries happen in sports. It's just the way of things when you have people pushing their bodies to the physical peak the way professional athletes have to. But for years now, D.C. United has seemed to suffer more than its fair share of non-contact injuries - sports hernias, hamstrings, etc. Eventually, the pattern starts to point toward the training staff. In 2013, that meant losing the services of some of the team's most talented players for long stretches. In September, it meant not having Jared Jeffrey available until the last game of the month and limited time for Lewis Neal and Chris Pontius, all of whom contributed in big ways after returning to the field. Their absences have been speculated by many to be on the hands of the trainers.

Jason Levien: This is less about what happened on the field in September than something that was apparently decided. As you no doubt know by now, the club is reportedly set to offer GM Dave Kasper a 3-year contract extension, apparently rewarding the long-time front office man for the utter failure that has been the 2013 league campaign and the last six years, which saw United earn one solitary playoff berth. After last offseason, which saw a reorganization of the team's non-soccer operations, many fans expected a similar shake-up on the technical side; that's apparently not in the cards, and its the optics issues that land United's managing partner the nomination this month.

So who gets your vote?

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