DC United 0 – Nashville 1 – Joy 0, as DCU Fans Are Forced To Look To The Future For Hope
For the second time this season, a game which I marked as for “certain, no doubt about it 3 points” eluded DCU’s grasp. You will have by now heard Ben Olsen’s post game comments, where he called his players “frauds” and joyless, especially when contrasted with the young players who entered in the second half. Olsen is right, and anyone who was watching would have to agree with that. The first half was absolutely dire stuff with no ideas in attack, little movement off the ball, and low energy all around. For a team in as poor a position as United finds itself, a lack of effort is inexcusable.
With Russell Canouse and Steve Birnbaum returning to the lineup and a Nashville lineup missing their most dangerous player, this felt like a great opportunity for DC United to get its 3rd win (ugh….gross) of the season. Instead, Russell Canouse got himself sent off in the first half after one pretty solid yellow and another judgement call card and DC United felt the field tip away from them from that point on.
If I am forced to look for a bright side with this game, and honestly this season in total, its that this crop of young players DC United is bringing through the first team seem much more ready for the challenge than previous incarnations. Yow and Paredes are willing to attack defenders, make the runs their teammates may not see value in and bring energy though out their appearances. Moses Nyeman has not look overmatched in limited time this year, and Donovan Pines has once again mixed highs and lows as part of constantly changing backline.
In a lost season, and make no mistake this IS a lost season, these young players need every opportunity to grow and make mistakes and succeed. Players like Yamil Asad and Julian Gressel have struggled to impact the game in any noticeable way and many other players have regressed dramatically since 2019. (In this season of all seasons, not playing at your best is understandable from a human perspective and so they deserve grace for that. However, other teams are managing much better in these same challenging times.) When you have nothing left to play for, you can at least play for the future.
DC may not have the absurd goal differential that San Jose currently enjoys, but they are otherwise identically at the bottom of the league table. We know that there will be no changes to the structure or management of this team during the season, so if nothing can bring us any hope for immediate change, at least we could get the chance to evaluate the players who are more likely to be a part of this team when it’s any good again.
*DC returns to the field this Sunday against New England, who beat United a month ago 2-1 and have enjoyed an up and down season that finds them in 5th place in the East. United has approximately 793 games in October, so this is going to be a rough month for United fans. All we can do is keep watching, and hope that we get the glimpses of the future that keep us in love with this team (and podcasts about said teams…).
** If you haven’t and you’d like to, make sure you check out our Merch page which has a t-shirt with our refreshed logo and some new cool shiny stickers that I would love to mail to you.