In a new format that he and Brotherly Game pioneered for the first time this week, UZ of Burgundy Wave and I held a friendly debate tonight discussing various aspects of tomorrow night's match between D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids.
By debate standards, I'd say I won.
The Rapids may not have as rich a history as United, but they have legitimate playoff hopes this season. With two of the top scorers in the league, along with the recent addition of Macoumba Kandji, the Rapids will be tough to keep out of the net.
The first half of our conversation is pasted below. The second half is over here.
Martin Shatzer (9:03 PM) uuuuuuuuuuuz
UZ (9:03 PM) Mr. Shatzerrrrrrrr. What up.
Martin Shatzer (9:04 PM) Watching my Terps dominate Duke on FSC. Really a beautiful thing.
UZ (9:04 PM) Always good times. I dont even think Cuse has a team. And if they do, they probably suck.
Martin Shatzer (9:05 PM) I just wish I had followed college soccer more when I was at Maryland. The atmosphere looks great.
UZ (9:06 PM) I go to community college, so I don't have that problem.
Martin Shatzer (9:07 PM) So anyway, what are your thoughts on the United - Rapids game tomorrow night. Is there any part of D.C. that worries you?
UZ (9:09 PM) From what I've seen of DC this season, I honestly can't see any reason to worry about anybody except Andy Najar. I'd be really disheartened if I were a DC fan trying to watch this squad lose 18 games.
But then I'd look at all the old trophies they won and feel better.
Martin Shatzer (9:12 PM) That's true. This is undoubtedly our worst season in team history, and its more than balanced out by some fantastic seasons of years past. As a fanbase, I think we're mostly willing to write off a year or two. What worries us is that there doesn't seem to be a plan in mind for rebuilding right now.
UZ (9:12 PM) Well from what I know, you have a pretty good academy and the #3 draft pick can't hurt. Unless of course Najar ditches you guys for Europe.
Martin Shatzer (9:14 PM) We've got him for at least another year. I just don't know how long he'll stay after that. We're fortunate enough to have a few good pieces to build around, like Najar, Bill Hamid, Julius James, Santino Quaranta on his better days. But the concern is that the front office has done a terrible job of assessing talent abroad recently. That used to be our organization's biggest strength, but I feel like we're way behind the rest of the league at this point in that category.
As a Rapids fan though, you must know a few things about rebuilding...
UZ (9:14 PM) You know it.
It looks like the rebuilding period of the last... say, 10 years is finally turned into a squad that has a chance at winning something.
Conor Casey and Omar Cummings are both in their prime years, the defense is one of the best in the league... if they can get their road form to come close to their home form, this team has a shot at winning a title in the next few years.
If the weakest spot on the team is at left midfield where the usual starter has a goal and 5 assists, I'm OK with that.
Martin Shatzer (9:18 PM) Five assists, eh? Our entire team only has eight assists this season.
UZ (9:18 PM) I know, when I was looking up the stats to write my short scouting report, I had to do a double take at some of those numbers.
At least you guys have some historic note, How often do you get a team that has a legitamate shot at losing 20 games in a season?
Martin Shatzer (9:20 PM) It's really quite embarassing. It's like the team was built around strong wingers (Najar, Quaranta, Chris Pontius), but without a legitimate scoring striker, or anyone that is good enough in the air to finish our chances.
Our goal for the year now is just to avoid some of those all-time worst records.
UZ (9:21 PM) You can start winning again after the Rapids beat them, methinks.