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Mid-Season Review part 2: Departures

Continuing on in our mid-season review of DC United's roster decisions in the offseason, we move on to the departures. For this entry, our definition of "departure" will be any player who was on the club roster last season, but who is no longer under contract with the team, for reasons other than a trade with another MLS club.

1. Before the start of this season, I figured that it would be the replacement of Gomez with Gallardo as the decision that shaped United's immediate future As it turns out, the decision to sell Troy Perkins to a Norwegian club might actually have been more significant. I guess it's just part of DC United tradition not to keep any goalkeepers for more than a year or two. We've never had a constant back there like Reis and Onstad have been for their clubs (note: the two most successful teams the past 3 years). Simpson, Presthus, and Garlick were all here for too short a time. And of course it made sense at the time to let go of Rimando when Perkins had beaten him out for the starting job, but wouldn't we all love to have Nicky back right now? It's hard to put a number on the amount of wins it has cost us to lose Perkins. Because I can't think of any game specifically that we have lost due only to a poor performance by Zach Wells. But Troy was occasionally a game-changer when it came to making point-blank saves, and the defense as a whole was more composed and more organized with him in net. Perkins was vocal: not afraid to yell at Boswell for making a mistake. That's a trait I've never seen out of Wells. With so much change (and now so many injuries) to the back line this year, it would have made a huge difference to have a constant at the keeper position to keep it all together.

2. It was really unfortunate both to United and to Josh Gros when we learned that he would not be able to play this year. Even if he was never the most technically talented individual, his work rate was known and appreciated across the league. Josh could play both left wing and left midfield, and even though I'm not exactly sure where or if he would fit into our regular starting XI this year in competition with Burch, Quaranta, and McTavish, his consistent play would certainly have come in handy during this stretch of injuries. United would instantly be better were Gros to return to action, if only as an example of hard work. Some of our players would be well served to learn from Gros's dedication.

3. I struggled with whether to put this guy ahead of Gros or not, but lost in the expansion draft to Columbus through way of San Jose was Brian Carroll. I wrote way back when that Carroll was a "true United player", in the Joe Gibbs sense of the term "true Redskin". Like Gros, he had a good work ethic, and although he lost his starting job to Simms last year, BC certainly would have been getting plenty of playing time over the past month if was still with DC.

4. I would guess that Jay Nolly and his parents were probably the only people who were disappointed to hear that he got cut from the team when it happened. Nolly was not a very popular guy among United supporters. But he has been performing quite well for Vancouver this season, and would probably have provided more competition with Wells for the starting keeper job than Carvallo and Thorpe have. Nolly was only taking up a Developmental roster spot, so it wouldn't have taken much to keep him around. I never imagined 6 months ago that I would be talking about Jay Nolly as a significant loss.

5. Some occasional contributors to the first team who are no longer with DCU: Justin Moose, Stephen DeRoux, Nick Addlery, and Guy-Roland Kpene. Despite my constant inclinations to poke fun at Moose, I won't try to pretend that he or DeRoux have really been missed this year. They were useful utility men, but have been replaced fairly well by rookies like Thompson and Cordeiro. There was a brief time early in the year when Emilio was struggling that I kind of wished we'd had the aggressive Addlery around as a back up striker, but that role has now been filled admirably by a much younger Francis Doe. And as for Kpene's role as a semi-creative forward who doesn't know how to score? That was filled by Niell.

6. I've never spoken too highly of Bryan Arguez, but after being a first round pick last year, you would hope that he would have seen a bit of action with the first team this year. United's decision to sell him abroad for some good hard cash probably allowed them the allocation money to bring in los Gonzalos and the other new hires. I'd seen Arguez play in Reserve matches, and although tall, he always seemed clumsy and uninvested. Maybe he stepped it up when trying out for Hertha Berlin, otherwise I don't know what they saw in him. Regardless, central defensive midfield is not necessarily a position of need for us, so Arguez's departure still isn't very high on my list.

7. And finally a group of players who were on the roster last year but saw no time with the first team (and rightfully so): Jamil Walker, Mira Mupier, Jerson Monteiro, Brad North, and Shawn Crowe. You've got to feel bad for Walker, whose main attribute was speed, but never recovered enough from a leg injury to regain that speed. His years spent in a United uniform are not unappreciated, and we wish him luck with his career in the USL. Mupier and Monteiro were both forwards who had spent time previously with other MLS clubs, but both are now out of the league. North and Crowe just couldn't cut it.