31 May 2007

Jaime Should Start

Is there a more charged subject to talk about than Jaime Moreno? Probably not. Just mentioning that he's potentially more effective as a substitute has the feel of somehow being sacrilegious. I mean, it's true. At this point, I think most of us know it is true. He can go the full 90 only by conserving his energy, and that means not running down balls that younger players go after. In short, we're giving up on chances if we play him all game. And yet... even thinking that he shouldn't start makes me feel somehow ungrateful, petulant, and pathetic. He wants to start and play every game. With his performance at the Bolivia-Ireland friendly making people wonder if he'll be called up for Copa America, you can still see that in his heart he knows he has a lot left to offer. And for now, he should start pretty much every game.

Not every game. United in June will play five matches, and Copa America begins June 26. If Jamie is called up, he'll only be available to DC for the first three games of June, each spaced about a week apart. He should have them. He's earned it. Yes, we all wondered about the attack that functioned better in Houston while he was away, but the fact is that Moreno brings just as much or more to the table right now than Addlery, Fred, Emilio, or even Kpene in the forward role. Yes, he gets winded, but Soehn is willing to take Moreno out somewhere between 60 and 70 minutes, and let him play if it makes him happy.

Becuase here's the thing: If Moreno is called to Bolivia and comes back after Copa America, he's coming back right in the midst of United's heaviest section of the season. Between July 22 and August 25, United will play nine games between MLS and Superliga competitions (not even mentioning a potential US Open Cup match in early August). For five weeks, United will be playing a match a little more frequently than once every four days. In this league, that's a lot.

When that time comes, Moreno and all players are pretty much all going to see their minutes regulated. It is a perfect transition time to establish the idea of Moreno as starter varied with Moreno as super-sub. For all the worrying about how to approach the matter, scheduling has given United the perfect opportunity to make it happen. Even Moreno will have to look at this time and admit perhaps he shouldn't be up-top every game. Even a game off wouldn't be enough simply because this stretch is so compact for so long. The transition I think we're pretty much agreed has to happen will happen.

Until then, let Jaime play. If ever a player has earned the right, he had. Take him out early sometimes, or whatever, but keep him happy. Sounds fair to me. How about to you?

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At 31 May, 2007 10:59, Blogger Bob said...

Who will take the penalties if he's on the bench?

I agree - this will be a great opportunity to get some serious time for all the young players: Kpene, Dyachenko, Casal, DeRoux, etc. I'm excited.

Now if CSN would jsut show the matches on TV.

At 31 May, 2007 11:00, Blogger Bob said...

It may not be clear, but that comment about penalties was a joke, just because Moreno has taken so many of them over the years.

At 31 May, 2007 12:18, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 31 May, 2007 12:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I maintain that Jaime should be coming off the bench most games, that is until fixture congestion sets in and the trio of Kpene, Emilio, and Jaime can rotate the starting positions.

I think the argument about Moreno starting would be stronger is Soehn was willing to sub Jaime out in the 60th or 70th minute. The fact is that in the 5 games that Jaime has started he's only been subbed out once, and that was in the 87th minute of the game against TFC.

I've said this before but how DCU manages Jaime during is THE question of the 2007 season

At 31 May, 2007 12:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diego's right.

There's an arc to every player's career, and Jaime is at the point at which he can really play well in the right match in the right circumstances, but take either of those away and he sort of disappears for long stretches.

If I'm Tommy Soehn (and DCU fans everywhere rejoice that I'm not), Jaime starts for the big big games and for the rest comes in as a late second-half sub if we need another playmaking midfielder. Let the younguns run around up top.

At 31 May, 2007 13:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"i" before "m," no matter when, except when the striker's Emilio...

At 31 May, 2007 13:53, Blogger D said...

Jason t, Bill Urban: This is embarrassing. Um... I've been typing it that way for years, and never noticed. It just got hardwired in the fingers. Sometimes, I need an editor. I'll go ahead and correct.

Diego/Matt: I don't disagree, but I think you have to find a way to segue into it. Question - who has more clout? Soehn or Moreno? Really, if Jaime were to be publicly unhappy with his role, what would happen? I honestly don't know. So what I'm suggesting is a way to ease Moreno into that role, and perhaps he'll then see the advantage of it himself.

At 31 May, 2007 16:04, Blogger Kinney said...

I think Sohen has more power, if only because the FO has seen what happened with Etch. That said, I am not convinced that Kepene is the answer. I like what I see but it is a long season. Remember last year when we traded Tino away and ended up playing Dyachenko and Walker up top? I think these things have an unfortunate way of figuring themselves out.

At 31 May, 2007 19:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

D, yeah, I see your point. Jaime has earned more deference and respect than any other player who has ever worn the black and red. 108 goals, being here from the start (let's not talk about that one season up the road), that captain's armband, his on-the-field chemistry with the team's other greats like Etch and Gomito -- Jaime is the walking talking embodiment of United soccer and why we love it so. And five years from now when he comes back for that halftime ceremony where we put his name up next to Etch and Harkes, we won't be thinking about how Jaime played in those unmeaningful matches last August.



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