Friday, November 5, 2010

Kudos to DC United's Rookie of the Year and DCU season in review

DC United's youngest player and only shining spot in a pathetic season, Andy Najar, won the MLS Rookie of the Year the other day.  At the age of 17 he the youngest player to win this award.  The last time a DC United player won this was Ben Olsen back in 1998.  Olsen, who began this season as the DC United Asst. Coach was promoted as Interim Head Coach after the home office rightfully sacked Curt Onalfo, after he failed to win more that 3 games in his first 18 (3-12-3).  MLS legend Jamie Moreno also retired this season which is a sad day for DC United and also the league as a whole.  He was a class act and one of the best MLS ever had

Now, that is the basic newspaper season stuff; but here is the Balddave opinion. 
WTF United, first off, Curt Onalfo?????  Onalfo was a bad coach with a losing record (27-29-22) when he coached KC for 2 years, he also was an assistant with the US National Team under Bruce Arena (apparently he did not learn anything).  While I respect all the things Curt Onalfo has done for DCU and US soccer, he has proven to be a terrible head coach and should stay as an assistant or continue his youth coaching in McLean VA. 

Now Ben Olsen took over the team as Interim Head Coach in Aug of the season.  Ben was but into a crappy situation and was handed a team in disarray.  He did the best he could and trying to provide that passion that DCU seemed to be missing all season.  The players were there, most of them healthy, but they just really lacked the passion we used to see in the old days. 

Andy Najar the 17 year old Honduran that emerged out of the DCU Youth academy was an excellent bright spot throughout the season (especially towards the end).  He played with excitement, passion, and sometimes aggression.  He played like a kid that loves to play.  This season he created a duality within his play.  On one hand he was growing up learning to play like a man; making good decisions with the ball, keeping his frustrations in check, and trying to put 100% on the field every game.  On the other hand he still is only 17 years old and therefore has a certain amount of youthful excitement in his game; he still seemed to get a kick out of playing with the "big boys," and at times looked like a high school kid just having fun.  If his excitement and attitude can work it's way through the locker room, and they name a quality head coach (b/c Ben Olsen should not be forced to do that again), we should have a good squad next season. 
I guess I should also point out the number of injuries DCU sustained through out the season.  Lost Namoff to a concussion, Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Bill Hamid, and others I cannot think of right now.  DC United needs to get healthy, it is a long season and you cannot count on your starters all season long. 

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