11 December 2007

Change over Time

One year ago today, the news broke that Freddy Adu and Nick Rimando had been traded to Real Salt Lake. Four days later, Brandon Prideaux was gone to Colorado. On December 20, Piotr Nowak left and Tom Soehn was promoted. Two days later, Esky was gone. Within a span of two weeks, United saw five significant changes to its roster.

Why do I mention this now? Because we're about to enter the same time period, and while things may vary in the precise timing, I think we'll have answers from Christmas. Yes, we're hearing a bunch of rumors on things, but right now we don't have anything verified. Yes, I know that a date for the Veron signing has shown up on various message boards. December 18 was one. We've gotten an email that said December 19 and provided various specifics. Yes, we saw the rumor in the comments about Moreno leaving for Qatar, but then again Moreno has also been seen in town by certain writers of this blog, and so it's all up in the air. It's all confusion and mish-mash... for now. But things will settle down in the next few weeks. This is the time period when all sorts of things are whispered, shouted, denied, refuted, resurface, and finally appear. And here's the thing: We'll know soon. One way or the other, we'll know about Veron, and Gomez, and Moreno, and we'll probably know about some folks we haven't heard about. Patience, my friends.

Now, the more interesting question is this: Do you really want Veron? I think there's some concern from knowledgeable people that he could be that worst kind of acquisition - The supposed superstar who doesn't really have it anymore, or is injury prone, or whatever, so he lollygags around the midfield and things never click. I can understand that fear. Look at what Dallas (or, to a lesser degree, New York) got in their designated player signings. And while I understand the fear, I don't share it yet. I can say it is something that, if Veron is signed, people will be looking for signs of it, but we'll see. Right now Payne and company are doing pretty well in their recent acquisitions, having added a league MVP, quality midfielder, and sleeper left back last year. So right now they have credit to burn, and earned the "trust their judgement" tag for the time being. But this is, to be quite simple, the biggest acquisition move D.C. United has tried to make since 2004, so quite a bit of political capital has been invested in getting this player. And if things don't go well, you wonder how far the collateral damage could go.

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At 11 December, 2007 10:41, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Now, the more interesting question is this: Do you really want Veron?

My only hope so far is that "trust" factor. The office has a good record, especially in South America, so presumably they have a good plan for integrating Veron.

I've heard (and voiced) some concern about the acquisition, but I admit some amount of ignorance with regard to Veron.

I'd love to hear someone come to his defense... Can anyone step in tell me why I should be psyched by his arrival? I'd like to be psyched.


At 11 December, 2007 11:07, Blogger Brian said...

Goff is reporting that Joe cannon might be heading to United, so you might have been right about the timing here.

At 11 December, 2007 11:39, Anonymous bdr said...

S'funny, I just wrote the same column, except more forbodingly of course.

At 11 December, 2007 12:12, Anonymous RP said...

Other than financial implications, I don't understand the hesitation about Veron's apparent signing.

This is a guy who returned to his parent club, Estudiantes de la Plata, and guided them to an Argentinian championship in the process. I'm guessing that Veron's impact - both on the field and in the locker room - was likely the major driving force behind that success. Estudiantes isn't in the same financial league as Boca or River Plate, so I find it highly unlikely that they had either the reserve players or money on hand to significantly alter the roster (outside of bringing back Veron).

Trust in DCU's front office. They have been the class of the league since day one and I, for one, can't see them ever dumping the team's longterm future for immediate potential. If the first-ever back-to-back Supporter's Shield campaign after the numerous roster and monetary moves last year didn't prove the management's scouting and financial savvy to you, well, I can't imagine anything other than total world domination would.

At 11 December, 2007 12:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anytime an aging superstar is linked with MLS, some people are always going to be hesitant. While there have been many successes, the flops have been nothing short of spectacular.

For the record, I don't really have much of an opinion on Veron to judge whether or not he would be good for DC.

At 11 December, 2007 13:32, Anonymous Goose said...

RKE, have a look around youtube for the Veron compilations. Got me psyched.

At 11 December, 2007 14:06, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RKE, have a look around youtube for the Veron compilations. Got me psyched.

Thanks Goose. I did some looking over the past few weeks. Impressive, until someone distracted me and I started watching Riquelme instead...

But yes, he certainly looks good. I'm wondering if anyone has insight into his demeanor, personality, sportsmanship, etc., that would indicate how well he might fit in with MLS and DCU.

(Of course, my perception of DCU is changing by the minute these days. Sounds like it could be a very different team next year.)

- rke

At 11 December, 2007 21:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Veron still has the quality that we remember from the 90s. He has been a little injury-prone this past season for Estudiantes (missed something like 6 or 7 matches out of 19). After being out for something like 3 or 4 weeks, his first game back he scored two goals, but I can't remember who Estudiantes were playing against. I think you can make the case that the Argentine First Division is better than the MLS, and he was the biggest difference-maker for Estudiantes who were basically a top half of the table team. If he had played a whole season for them this Apertura they might have finished top three. I don't really know how he would fit in to the DC United lineup but I wanted to voice my opinion to try and reassure you guys that the quality/desire is still there.

At 12 December, 2007 00:26, Anonymous Nick said...

Veron came back from Italy last fall and all he did was win the MVP of Argentine Apertura and lead a lame-duck Estudiantes team on an unbelievable run all the way to a playoff game title over Boca. He can flat out play, and I don't think anyone would accuse him of half-assing it in the midfield. He had a good game against the US this summer, and played well this fall when he wasn't injured. I'm not sure why anyone would question whether he is the type of DP we would want, unless they are convinced that his injury situation would not improve. I see no evidence of that...


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