The 2014 MLS season is really sneaking up on us. We're just 32 days away, which means that we neglected to write about Taylor Kemp (#33, natch) yesterday. So we'll just roll him into today's discussion of the young man who wears #32 for D.C. United, Collin Martin. It actually turns into a pretty natural combination, as both are returning second-year players with local ties that predate their connection to the Black-and-Red. Despite the different positions they play, both are also better known for their attacking prowess than their defensive contributions.
Left-footed fullback Taylor Kemp came to RFK with the 17th overall pick in last year's SuperDraft. He's a Maryland graduate who never had much defending to do out in College Park. When he played for D.C. last season, it was in midfield as often as it was on the back line, but it was with the Richmond Kickers that he made the biggest impression, going south early in the year and helping the Kickers to the USL PRO regular season championship. At the end of the year, nearly 3/4 of B&RU readers voted to keep him around for the coming season, but many admitted that they were ambivalent toward his fate and cited the need for better quality at the left fullback position.
There's no such ambivalence toward Collin Martin. Fully 93% of our readers voted to give him Cake rather than Death, and it's easy to see why. He's a 19-year-old homegrown attacking midfielder who has played on the outside but whose longterm home could be in the middle. He's a smart kid who has put Top Drawer Soccer's Travis Clark into a sort of perpetual swoon (but in a good and non-creepy way). He signed in the middle of last year and almost immediately shipped off on loan to Richmond, only really joining United's first team once the USL PRO season wrapped up.
As of this moment, both players figure into United's plans for the year - the only question is where. Neither of them look like they have much of a chance of being first choice starters, and both could probably do with some additional seasoning down with the Kickers. But is that where Ben Olsen sees them spending 2014? That question is the focus of this thread. Let us know your predictions - and what you think should be done with Kemp & Martin - in the comments.
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