28 March 2006

My All-time Best XI ballot

David Gilmore challenges me to discuss my ballot for the All-time Best XI poll running at DCUnited.Com. Now, please understand that I was in another city during the Arena Hegemony of the late 90s. So to some degree, my perceptions are warped because I didn't personally see many of those great early games (I know, being in a college in another state is a lame excuse, but there you go), but rather I remember what I read in news reports. So, given a 4-4-2 mandatory formation, here is how I voted:

Keeper: Scott Garlick.
Defense: Agoos, Llamosa, Pope, Nelsen.
Midfield: Etcheverry, Harkes, Olsen, Gomez
Forwards: Moreno and RDA (though Roy Lassiter was pretty tempting).
Coach: Arena

The amazing thing is that while there are a few "must haves" for me (Moreno, Etch, Pope) there are other combinations I would have felt perfectly comfortable with. The toughest choice was keeper, since I have the clearest memories of Rimando and Simpson, while Garlick is a hazy feagure who I remember from match recaps. Still... ultimately, that's where I went.


At 28 March, 2006 17:22, Anonymous Karl said...

You're aware that Garlick played less than 2 full seasons for DCU, right?

Rimando holds nearly every record in DCU history - wins (41), shutouts (29 - 20 more than Garlick), best save percentage (72.4), best GAA (1.20). Seems pretty clear to me.

At 28 March, 2006 17:40, Blogger D said...

Karl --

I am aware that Garlick didn't spend most of his career in DC. Which is actually why I went with Garlick over Rimando, as part of my consideration was an overall player, not just their time with United (a factor with RDA, Lassiter, etc...) If Garlick had actually stayed with DC for most of his career, I think that many of those records wouldn't be Rimando's but Garlick's. I base this on an idea of comparing Garlick's first five years with Rimando's. Garlick has 57 wins to Rimando's 51. Garlick has more saves, 680 to 567. Rimando would still have more shutouts, but Garlick's 75% to 72% save percentage advantage would also factor into things.

So, in picking a player for an all-time best XI, I went with Garlick, as I think he would have been the better keeper.

At 28 March, 2006 18:24, Anonymous Karl said...

Fair enought..

BUT, is it not the "D.C. United All-Time Best XI?"

Not the... "If This Player Had Played With D.C. United For A Long Time What Would Have Happend All-Time Best XI?"

I was going to vote for Justin Mapp even though he only played in three games with DCU, but he wasn't on the form.

I suppose things like this are a little like Hall of Fame debates - each person has their interpretation of how one should vote.

At 28 March, 2006 23:16, Blogger David Lifton said...

Watching videotapes of past games with Garlick, it's undeniable that he was our best goalkeeper. His positioning was always superb, and you didn't get nervous on corners and crosses. He had athleticism to make spectacular saves, but he didn't have to rely on it the way that Rimando does.

Rimando benefitted from an increased emphasis on defense when Trask was the assistant coach, and the organizational skills of Ryan Nelsen.

And if you're going to solely cite stats in your defense of Rimando, Karl, please remember that, before Rimando, the best GAA in a season by a United keeper was Presthus in 1999.


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