These aren’t the powerhouse DC United teams of the late 90’s and it isn’t the star attraction draw that having Freddy Adu was; but the team DC United is putting on the field this season sure is exciting. Right now they are two points out of first place in the Eastern Conference and have only lost one of their first six games.
This team may have just the right mixture to be competitive this year. The team has found a way to incorporate the experience of veteran players like Jaime Moreno, Ben Olsen, and Christian Gomez into a true youth movement. This team starts four players under the age of 23. Dejan Jakovic, Rodney Wallace, Marc Burch, and Chris Pontius don’t just play, they contribute mightily to the teams success.
The influx of youth is a welcome addition to a United lineup that has faded down the stretch in recent years. This team has been just the opposite. In their last two games (against their two biggest rivals) they have shown a never say die attitude. Against New England they were down a goal and had been outplayed through most of the game, but with no quit they assaulted the Revolution net in the final minutes and Ben Olsen finally netted the equalizer in extra time. Then against New York this past week, they did one better. Down 2-1 in the closing minutes they rallied for a goal in the 90th minute by striker Luciano Emilio. As the stadium in New York seemed resigned to the draw, DC United streaked down the field and rookie Chris Pontius struck for the game winning goal just before the referee’s whistle. This team has shown early that they won’t quit. With that combination of attitude, talent, and youth; this version of United will sure be fun to watch.