Can we hope that DC has a solid foundation for future success because it’s got a great crop of young American talent? Santino Quaranta is making a case for being a regular national team player. Undrafted rookie, as Rob Stone likes to remind us on ESPN ad naseum, Bobby Boswell is a serious contender for Rookie of the Year and future national team defender. We’ve also got Josh Gros, Brian Namoff and Clyde Simms showing that they can play. The contributions of Jaime Moreno, Christian Gomez, and others can not be overlooked, and Freddy will continue to develop as a player. But in the current MLS setup, a good cast of skilled, and inexpensive, American players that you can keep from year to year make a huge difference. New England is clear evidence of this, and you could argue that San Jose is also solidly built on youth. Meanwhile, teams that depended on more expensive and older talent like the Metrostars (Djorkaeff, Razov, Agoos), Real Salt Lake (Mathis, Kreis, Williams?) and Chivas USA (that goalkeeper they brought…I’m not to familiar with all their players) are having terrible seasons. The Columbus Crew may not fit the mold.
Still, it’s been heartening to see United play so dominantly this Saturday, especially without Moreno, Gomez, and Olsen in the second half. It wasn’t like previous seasons when losing such talented players really put a win in jeopardy.