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D.C. United season review: Nick DeLeon

It was a different looking season from Nick DeLeon, but he was one of the most important players down the stretch.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the first half of this 2014 season, D.C. United fans continued to wonder where the Nick DeLeon of 2012 had gone. After bursting onto the scene as a rookie who scored goals and looked electric down the sideline, he (like everyone else) regressed in 2013. But when that 2012 player didn't immediately come back, fans were again down on DeLeon.

But instead, his game has changed while we were all looking for it to stay the same. He appeared in more games than anyone except Bobby Boswell this season, and was active in both the attack and the defense. DeLeon created the second highest number of chances on the team, behind Fabian Espindola but ahead of Luis Silva through key passes that kept attacks from sputtering out. He was also active on the defensive end, often playing as an auxiliary central midfielder to help with what Perry Kitchen and Davy Arnaud were doing. It was an unglamorous role, but one that DeLeon owned for himself.

And then, in the playoffs, DeLeon was the best player on the team, alongside Bill Hamid. If that DeLeon, who combines some of the flashier elements of his 2012 version with the grittier elements of 2014, comes back in 2015, he could easily be pushing from MLS All Star recognition. But to the question itself, since I know some of you have had strong opinions about NDL this season: Do you want him back next year?