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Cake or Death? D.C. United homegrown center back Ethan White

With the 2013 season finally, mercifully behind us, it's time to run through the D.C. United roster and determine who should stay and eat cake and who should leave the team and find inevitable death. Today, our second-straight University of Maryland product, Ethan White.

Gene Sweeney Jr.

In a year that was otherwise horrendous for D.C. United defenders, Ethan White actually improved. He was probably the only one among the back line corps to do so, given steps back by the likes of Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald and Chris Korb. But will that be enough to earn him some cake from the B&RU readership? Today we decide.

White is a homegrown talent, graduating from the United Academy to attend the University of Maryland before signing with the first team after the original worst season ever in 2011. He played a lot that year, due to injuries and poor form among his more experienced teammates. Stop me if it sounds familiar. His playing time fell off a cliff in 2012 as Jakovic, B-Mac and Emilano Dudar held down central defense. He came into preseason camp this year having been pushed out to the right fullback spot, which didn't suit him as well as his more natural central position.

Well, thanks to those fabled injuries and poor form, White found himself again starting in central defense, where he was the team's best defender for stretches of games. But that's really like saying he was the prettiest geoduck - it was an incredibly low bar to clear.

So, does he merit the cake that comes with another season in Black-and-Red, or should we serve him the death that comes with banishment from the team in 2014? You decide: Vote in the poll and let us know your thinking down in the comments.