Okay, you guys, this is my serious voice (voice? font?). Today is going to test your ability to separate past appreciation from future evaluation, and I know you can do it, because you've already done it with DeRo. There aren't quite as many brilliant moments to have to get past for today's subject, but there are two incredibly big ones that will probably cause you happy flashbacks. Today, we look at Lewis Neal, better known in these parts as LEWIS NEAL. (Any time limit on the allcaps treatment was permanently removed when he won us trophy #13.)
Neal has earned plaudits for his intelligence on the field and his unbelievable sense of timing, but he's had some issues staying healthy since arriving at RFK before the 2012 season. Neal spent most of his second year with United on the trainer's table with an injured groin. But he came back in the fall to help United secure a trophy out of what was otherwise the Worst Season Anywhere Ever.
The 32-year-old Englishman came into MLS as a left midfielder but has played for Ben Olsen more as a central midfielder, deputizing for the injured John Thorrington alongside Perry Kitchen. He spent the end of last year at left back, too, when United were woefully short of fullbacks (though I suppose the team never got past that condition), though his most famous contribution to the 2012 campaign - and the moment that led to his allcaps treatment - came from a more advanced role.
All of that is just background, though. Today we don't ask whether Neal has earned our undying love or whether the history book writers will put his name down properly without lowercase letters. Instead, we ask only whether we want to see his name (however it's spelled) on D.C. United's 2014 roster. If so, then you must give him Cake. If not, then Death is the answer.
Once you vote, share your thoughts on the matter down in the comments.
More from Black And Red United:
- Filibuster podcast episode 56: A toast to Omar Cummings, the Slayer of the Red Bulls
- The Donnety Award, for D.C. United's most disappointing player
- Cake or Death? It's rookie homegrown attacker Collin Martin's turn on the stage
- Bill Hamid called up to U.S. Men's National Team for friendlies in Scotland and Austria
- The Road Not Taken - What if Ben Olsen hadn't traded Dax McCarty and built D.C. United around Dwayne De Rosario?