Saturday, October 23, 2010
Did You Know Washington DC Has a Professional Soccer Team?
And tonight it plays it's last game of the most dismal season in a decade, maybe the most dismal season in franchise history.
I don't know what to add to what I've written about this season, this team, this franchise. It's true that injuries ruined the seasons of the previous season's first round draft picks, Rodney Wallace and Chris Pontius, though before they were injured it looked like their progress had stalled, whether from a talent ceiling and/or poor coaching, who knows. Losing Brian Namoff for the season (and for good) at right back itself might be worth six points - Namoff was the irreplaceable man, and it impossible to underestimate the effect his absence had on United's defense. And that's as gracious as I can or will be to Kevin Payne and Dave Kasper, and as much time as I'll spend in this post on an autopsy I've written over and over and may again or please god not.
Tonight is Jaime Moreno's last game in a United uniform. It will be the highlight of the season for all the wrong reasons. Testimonials are appearing. There will be a ceremony, gifts given. Barra and Eagles will have banners. United players will all look for Jaime so he gets one last goal. He'll be taken out late for a final standing ovation. There will be multiple Jaime Moreno, clap-clap-clapclapclaps.
I confess, I like Jaime, I recognize his skills, his class, his contributions, his iconic status, and I'll stand, I'll cheer, I'll be sad at the end when he comes over to LOUD SIDE! one last time in uniform, but I'll get over it by the time I'm home. When he was really good was back in United's first glory era, well over a decade ago; the last time United was good in the mid-00s Jaime was a valuable contributor but not the star - that was Christian Gomez. And we all have our favorites - Eskandarian, Kovalenko, Gros, Nelsen, Namoff, especially this guy
I cheered for Jaime, was glad to have him captain, am grateful for his contributions to all the silverware listed on his poster, but there is no joy in this celebration, no sadness. It's been a miserable year for United, it's been a miserable year for Moreno, it's been a miserable year for the relationship between United and Moreno. Tonight feels perfunctory. If Jaime scores, when he's subbed out for his ovation, I hope I'm wrong for as long as people cheer and the joy is genuine.
But this feels to me like a wake, and for more than just Jaime Moreno. Whether there's rebirth, all I can do is hope beyond hope.