Think back to how you felt about D.C. United following the 2010 season. We were at an all-time low. Things couldn't have gotten worse. After two years of missing the playoffs by just a single point, our team suddenly and unexpectedly dropped far below the rest of the league.
Look how far we've come.
In the two years since that dreadful season, we've almost completely turned over the roster. Only Chris Pontius and Dejan Jakovic remain as significant contributors. Ben Olsen has made this team his own, and we're all grateful for that. The team has made great strides since 2010. They still missed the playoffs last year, but there was at least lots of improvement.
So when we entered this season, with the roster looking even better at every part of the field, our expectations were naturally higher. Playoffs. In order for United to continue moving in the right direction, they'd have to at least make the playoffs.
Those expectations have changed by a pretty wide margin over the course of the year. Our expectations have changed along with our place in the standings. When United was flying high in the months of April and May, first place seemed very achievable. At the very least, we expected a finish in the top three of the Eastern Conference, earning us a Bye from the play-in game between the fourth and fifth place teams.
Things change quite quickly though. As United has fallen behind the Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, and Houston Dynamo into sixth place and just out of playoff position, our expectations are understandably falling as well. Just making the playoffs doesn't look so bad anymore. At least that's my opinion. What are you current expectations for D.C. United? What finish to 2012 would leave you feeling satisfied in your team?