Our player-by-player review of the D.C. United season that was has reached Bobby Boswell, the club's captain and linchpin of the defense. Boz has worn the armband since returning to the District from Houston before the 2014 season, and - not coincidentally - his arrival has coincided with United's resurgence.
Boswell is an old-school centerback. He mixes it up with opposing forwards and makes his living in the gray area of off-the-ball shenanigans (something that came back to bite him in this season's playoffs). He's never been the fastest guy on the field, but his anticipation, physicality and ability to organize the defense around him have more than made up for it, even as he will turn 33 around the start of next season.
2015 didn't see the same regular season highs as 2014 for Boswell, or United's defense more generally. Last year was a season where the Austin, Texas native finished second in MLS Defender of the Year voting and where the Black-and-Red allowed only 37 goals in 34 league games - good for joint best in the league. In this space last year, only one lone, addled reader voted against keeping Boswell for this year. This year, Boz wasn't really ever mentioned in the voting as United allowed a squarely middle-of-the-pack 45 goals.
Whether #32 has declined is up for debate, but some fans are calling for him to step aside to allow Steve Birnbaum and Kofi Opare to form the Partnership of the Future. Nevertheless, we know Boswell will be back for at least one more year, signing a new contract last month. He made a guaranteed $200,000 this year, and it's probably reasonable to expect around the same salary for 2016.
Which brings us to the all-important question: Notwithstanding that new contract, if you had your druthers, would you want to see Boswell back in black-and-red next season? Have your say in the poll, and be sure to let us know your reasoning in the comments.