The voting is now complete, and the readers of Black and Red United have passed judgment on all of D.C. United's players as well as the leaders of the technical staff.
This year we only voted on two non-players: Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper. After last season, 69% of us still wanted Ben Olsen back despite that horrific year; on the other hand only 8% of us wanted Dave Kasper back. After this season, however, the results are much different.
With the players, let us start at the bottom with those who you said should not come back to D.C. United in 2015. After such a successful season, only three players qualify for that distinction and all three of them are already gone.
I don't think anyone is suprised by the names on this list. Shanosky spent most of the year in Richmond, and though he is still young the technical staff decided that he wasn't going to meet his potential in D.C. Attakora and Porter, United's remaining Canadians, both spent most of the year missing the 18 man squad and struggling with injuries. After years of having at least one Canadian, United is currently going into 2015 without a single one. Porter was still far above the four lowest ranked players from last season, and this will be the last time I mention any of their names: Sainey Nyassi, Syamsir Alam, Carlos Ruiz, and Lionard Pajoy.
In the most strikingly appropriate vote of the entire sequence, one player got 132 votes to keep him with D.C. United and 132 votes to get rid of him. I wonder if you can guess who that is?
After a controversial year, it is fitting that the readers were exactly split on Eddie Johnson. He will be back next season, barring a big change in Ben Olsen's intentions.
After those players, let us take a look at the cream of D.C. United's crop: the players who got over 90%. The crop is much larger than last year, including one player who got unanimous approval.
Luis Silva is the only player to receive unanimous approval, but the rest of the 99% got only one or two no votes from people who I must assume are either not D.C. United fans or are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame voting bloc. The rest of the players fall into two primary categories: established veterans who were key contributors to D.C. United this year and promising young players who have not yet had their time to shine. The one player who surprised me that make this list was David Estrada, who was a useful sub this year but doesn't really fit the categories in which the rest of these players fall.
And finally, the juicy middle.
For years now, Black and Red United has had The Standard, the player whose talent level is the minimum level to be considered useful and to be brought back for the next season. The original Standard, way back in the 2010 season, was midfielder Stephen King; he was then replaced by LEWIS NEAL, who has held the title for multiple seasons. In his last season with D.C. United, he still holds that title. The players above him would be no brainers to bring back next season, and I think that the players below him may fall below The Standard. UPDATE: We missed including Jared Jeffrey, who at 76-24 may just be the next candidate for The Standard.
Who do you think that The Standard was this year, and with this roster going forward who do you think The Standard will be next year?
Also, thank you all for voting and thank you all for joining us for the 2014 season. We have a couple of posts left on this season, coming today and tomorrow, but then we will close the book on 2014 and turn our eyes to 2015.