This season, unlike last season, doesn't provide the same slew of candidates for the Donnety Award, given to D.C. United's most disappointing player. For those who don't remember, the award is named for Matias Donnet, the Argentinian star midfielder who had played previously at Boca Juniors and Venezia before coming to D.C. in 2006 with loads of potential. But he would play in only eight matches, score only one goal, and leave in disgrace before the end of the season. Former winners of this award include Brandon McDonald, Christian Castillo, Danny Szetela, Zach Wells, Jose Carvallo, and Hamdi Salihi.
1. Cristian Fernandez: Brought in to be the left back of the present and future, Christian had a rough beginning to the season before settling in and starting to play well. For once, it seemed like the front office had gotten an international player signing right. Of course, right when that happened he demanded to be let go and returned to Spain to play in the Segunda Division (where he is a sub). Abruptly leaving the team in the middle of the season is a cold move, but at least it did lead (eventually) to the blossoming on Taylor Kemp.
2. Eddie Johnson: D.C. United traded for Eddie Johnson and then signed him to the designated player contract he craved so much. In return, United got nine goals overall, three assists, some good holdup play, and a good influence in the locker room. But then there was everything else on the field: cutting off runs too soon, giving up on plays, becoming obviously frustrated, and looking disinterested at times. A number of his quotes were taken personally by fans, and if the season had ended in August he would have probably been a lock for this award.
3: Nick DeLeon: The other player who would have been a front-runner for this award had the season ended in August, DeLeon's year has been discussed at length. He was the glue for the team in that he pinched into the center, provided defensive solidity, and was able to get forward and provide assists as well. In other games, he looked lost, slow, and questionable going forward. Did his play down the stretch and in the playoffs change anyone's minds?
4: Jeff Parke: To get Jeff Parke, D.C. United traded away their spot in the allocation order plus Ethan White to get Jeff Parke. The Philadelphia Union then turned around and used that allocation order spot to acquire Maurice Edu, coming back from Stoke City. And I think it is that lost opportunity compared to what Philadelphia got that has made people consider Jeff Parke a disappointment. After a solid start to the season next to Bobby Boswell, Parke got a foot injury and then an ear problem that kept him out the rest of the year, and all of that on $215,000.
There are the nominees. Who is your most disappointing player for 2014?