… Kind of off the cuff.
Although, I’m not sure the shirt I’m wearing has cuffs, but anyway.
Upon initially reading yesterday on Goffblog about the possibility (or “hunch” as Goff called it) that designated player and sometimes midfielder Marcelo Gallardo could be on his way to Argentina, thus opening a spot for DC United to bring back Christian Gomez from Colorado, I wasn’t thrilled about it.
It’s a bit of a dangerous slope as a DC fan (which I am) to speak out against Gomez. He played at a high level at times for the club and was a fan favorite – partially because he spent part of a game drumming with supporters (he was suspended so he couldn’t actually play). I wouldn’t slight his effort during his prior time in DC.
But I’m finding it hard to drum up support for this move – if it were to ever take place. I don’t know that bringing an aging midfielder to replace a, well, um, aging midfielder, is such a great idea. It’s one that could pay dividends through the first 2-3 months of the 2009 MLS season. But after that? What happens when Gomez, playing every game to run the attack, wears down? What happens if he gets injured? What happens if United’s attack relies on an aging Gomez and an aging Jaime Moreno? Does the club expect Luciano Emilio to return to 20-goal form?
Until the fatigue and the injuries set in, it could work really well. But then, I see it falling apart in the final 10 games of the season. What happens when, after this decline, United misses the playoffs again?
Then, you’re stuck with a midfield creator who is yet another year older; no younger player who has been groomed for that position; and perhaps, you now set the needed rebuilding effort back even further – creating the possibility of ruining your 2010 and 2011 seasons. This, in a league that’s only getting bigger by the year and as such, leaving more and more teams out of the playoff promiseland.
Look, I thought United had a good draft on first glance. They have a key piece of the puzzle secured in retaining Clyde Simms, and even the Bryan Namoff re-signing is a good move, in my humble opinion.
My concern is that signing Gomez may not only cause heartbreak and regret at the end of 2009, but slow the team moving forward such that future years are bankrupted, as well. Having a bad season is no sin. It happens to everyone. But not learning from what went wrong in that bad season such that problems repeat themselves, causing a 5-year pattern of suckness, that’s inexcusable.
We’ve seen what happens when you bring in an aging midfielder and give him the keys. Often, the car turns into a rusted out ’65 Comet, sitting on cinderblocks in the front yard. And you have to go to Argentina to fix it.
I’m hoping we don’t see a repeat in 2009.