Gomez Gave Us Options, Even in Departure
I'm working on putting together an something I hope you might find interesting, but let's spend at least one post dedicated to the most important player that D.C. United had from 2004 to 2007: Christian Gomez. He is arguably the reason we won the MLS Cup in 2004. He was critical to the 2006 and 2007 Supporter's Shield runs. His free kicks were frequently the difference between one point and three points (such as last year against Houston.) I did say that Christian Gomez may not reach the highest order in the D.C. United pantheon, but that's primarily because he was only here for three and a half years. Does it seem longer? If so, it is because he was so good that it was hard to conceive of a time when he wasn't here.
What made Gomez so great was the versatility he brought to the field. He ran the offense, and made defenses respect that we had three legitimate scoring threats. Who could they eliminate? Gomez? Moreno? Eskandarian or Emilio? Someone would be free, and sometimes it was Ben Olsen, or Fred, or they just couldn't taken them all out. Gomez was the reason teams couldn't combat us the same way we'd combat Angel (deny him service, then watch the attack wither). They might try, and hack at his shins and ankles all day long, but even then we'd earn free kicks that could be even more dangerous.
And now, even as he leaves, we learn that Colorado had to give us their Designated Player slot for a few years after Toronto made a similar offer for him. Even if Christian Gomez isn't a Designated Player, it is clear he was worth the price of one, and to have the opportunity to sign a new player or promote one to a DP slot after the signing of Gallardo is immense. It is only fitting that Gomez would not just give us options while on the field, but expand the universe of options in his departure. Mr. Gomez, we salute you, and provided you don't grab your crotch at the fans when you spark Colorado to a nice scoring move, you will always receive a warm welcome at RFK. Thank you sir.