D.C. United announced its four nominees for the Hall Of Tradition today, and the list leaves something to be desired. Roy Lassiter, Carlos Llamosa, John Maessner, and Richie Williams were all good players, and all important members of the United organization for multiple championship trophies. But I'm left wondering if their names deserve to be hanging on the same wall as the names John Harkes, Marco Etcheverry, Jeff Agoos, Eddie Pope, and Raul Diaz Arce.
The top vote-getter will be inducted into the D.C. United Hall Of Tradition at a home match later this season, and voting is now open.
I wonder if there might be a better way to decide who is worthy than having a fan vote every year. For national sports halls of fame, players must receive a certain percentage of votes from qualified media representatives to earn their busts. I think its important that United involves the fans in the process, but there should also be a mechanism in case no former United player is worthy of entry.
Take this year for example.
Pope was inducted last year, and Ben Olsen, Christian Gomez, and Jaime Moreno will be inducted the next three years (the rules require that a player be retired for two years first), but United shouldn't feel obligated to continue adding to the Hall every season. Putting a name like Maessner's on the north wall of RFK Stadium just seems to water down the accomplishments of Etcheverry and Harkes.
I get that United wants to honor its past heroes - the guys who built the heaviest trophy case in the league. Tradition is important to this club. And any other team in MLS would kill to have those names on their wall. But we shouldn't feel pressured to have one player enter the Hall every single season.
If one of the four nominated players must get in this year, I'm throwing my support behind Lassiter. Two straight 18-goal seasons is really quite impressive. But if given the choice, I'd probably vote for no one at all.
You don't have that choice unfortunately on dcunited.com. But you have it here! Do you think any of the nominated players are worthy of the D.C. United Hall Of Tradition?