WIWFC | Eric's List

Eric in Baltimore weighs in with our fourth user-contributed DC United Christmas wish list. My own list will be up tomorrow, in case you were wondering.

Eric's What I Want For Christmas List

1. A strong head coach that can implement the changes we will need to make to adjust to the growth in the league. Regardless of what KP thinks.

2. Consistent wing play. Hopefully Castillo is the answer on the left.

3. Faster transition from back to front. The glacial pace we displayed last season (and historically) was and is unacceptable.

4. A nasty streak for Clyde Simms.

5. A stadium resolution. The situation is sapping all the positive energy from the supporters.

Excellent list. There's not much there I can argue with, and #5 I think goes even deeper than the supporters. What I would like to highlight and expand on here is #4...

I'm sure I haven't been completely alone in recognizing that sheer number of minutes played and the lack of too many terrible mistakes do not make a player great. Simms is a decent player, but that seems like all he'll ever be. He's reasonable athletic, though he doesn't have the fire to really make it count in a midfield battle. His positioning is often suspect. He seemed to be developing a threat from distance with low, grass-cutter drives (the Clydewinder Missile!), but hasn't really progressed beyond that early promise. Similarly, I think we'll see that the handful of really nice through balls he managed this year will turn out to be an aberration--the promise of a false dawn in Clyde actually getting the ball forward, rather than back or lateral.

While we're busy worrying over wingers, center backs, keepers, and forwards, somebody should take a long hard look at how much better this team would have been with a really effective d-mid.


  1. Sure, but... in MLS you're always going to have a few players starting who are decent but not capable of anything special. Yeah, Clyde's a journeyman, but any MLS team is going to have journeymen. It's a matter of having competent journeymen. And there's a pretty long list of players who were worse at their jobs this past season than Clyde is (the ones you named: striker (Emilio), left mid (Fred), left back (Burch), goalkeeper (Wicks), the second centerback, who we never really had). In this case, I think the conventional wisdom is conventional because it makes sense.

  2. True.

    But I think his mediocrity crept into the rest of the team by virtue of his position. I don't think he's capable of holding down the fort by himself, thus limiting tactical choices. Also, I think some of our back line frailty had to do with his poor reading of attacking movements and lack of tackling "bite." Finally, part of the glacial nature of our attacks had to do with balls funneled through him going lateral or back rather than forward.

    Where there's a silver lining is the possibility that a coach who works more on defensive organization and patterns of attacking play will be able to get more out of limited players.

    Or so we can hope.