Jumping the Gun
It is between one and three games too early for stories like this to start appearing in the media. (But you've been doing it for about three weeks... Yes, but we're irresonponsible fan boys on the internet, it's fine when we do it.) I'd prefer that responsible publications (and yes, snarky folks, that includes MLSNet) hold off until after the all-star break. Yet the questions are starting to bubble to the surface, as years like 1998 and 1999 are tenatively invoked. So let's put things in perspective. DC United has 12 games remaining. Let's just say, for the sake of argument, they pull a straight .500 record for the remainder and go 4-4-4. Currently United's is getting 2.25 ppg, and that would represent a fall off to 1.33 ppg for a final record of 17-5-10, 61 points. Would that be a historic, dominating team? Perhaps not. But at the beginning of the season, would you have taken it? Damn right I would.
We can't argue yet as to whether this is one of the greatest regular season teams of all time. Quite simply put, we won't know for at least another eight games. And don't get me wrong, I want to see this United team enter history as one of the great MLS teams of all-time. But just a reminder: Let's not cry in our beer if they just finish as a pretty damn good team. That's all I wanted at the beginning of the season, and as a fan, our expectations should be maintained to that standard, not reevaluated higher. I don't demand history, just quality. The fact that DC has pretty much sewn that up means I'm curious to see how much my expectations are exceeded by. That's a great situation. This team should not be considered a disappointment if they are not the second coming of 1998. That we can ask the question is a joy. But let us not presume the answer yet.