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Starting to clean up the roster mess at D.C. United

Oct 30, 2013, 3:55 PM EDT

Carlos Ruiz

You know about that first rules of holes; when you find yourself in one, stop digging.

So good on D.C. United for recognizing mistakes and moving to fix them. The club today announced that it has declined options on Lionard Pajoy, Carlos Ruiz and midfielder Marcelo Saragosa.

The old “keep on digging” strategy had been employed at points throughout the year, as coach Ben Olsen continued to play Pajoy through the spring, never mind that he was clearly a striker who couldn’t strike. And the club signed Ruiz because … well … they signed Ruiz. Not sure what else to say about a textbook “reach.”

And when was the last time Saragosa, a marginally skilled tough guy midfielder, played for a really good team? That would be the 2005 champion LA Galaxy. Of course, he only started two games for Steve Sampson’s bunch that year – and it wasn’t really even a great team, just one that wound its way rather fortuitously through a deflated playoff field.

Signing all three members of this trio was a mistake. (Heck, the club even traded to get Pajoy.) Choices like those were one of the many, many reason United just finished its season as the worst – the worst! – team in MLS history.

So, jettisoning these three is a good start to cleaning up the mess.

(MORE: Unwanted recognition — D.C. United sets MLS record with three-win season)

Unfortunately, the same day brought news that the organization is still all thumbs, firing two of its support staff, two of its press officers.

Is the implication that DC United (Did we mention the team was the WORST in MLS history?) was getting bad press, and that it was the PR staff’s fault?

Sure. Let’s go with that. Because it can’t be, you know, that a team wrought with ridiculous personnel choices seriously stunk up the joint this year, right?

  1. Mr. Tuesday - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Peculiar aim. Maybe fire the guys responsible for putting together the WORST SEASON IN MLS HISTORY.

  2. mdac1012 - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Every player on the roster is a candidate to go. It’s the old saying “We finished last with you, we can finish last without you.”

    • Steve Davis - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      As old chestnuts go, that one is a personal fave!

  3. danielofthedale - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Now they need to keep Conor Doyle!

  4. wyrm1 - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    It’s just depressing to watch other teams hold their football staffs responsible for bad seasons and firing them.

    Olsen has no in-game management skills. His “strength” is that the team didn’t “quit” on him. However, they won 3 games out of 34 in league, so how much difference did not quiting make. If he had no say in the player decisions, then bringing him back is silly but not the end of the world.

    Kasper needs to go. He is making almost all of the player decisions, and they pretty much all stunk (Doyle was ok). How an organization keeps someone who has built such a poor team for multiple years is beyond me.

  5. geojock - Oct 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    So do they retool or tear down and rebuild? Does DeRo still have a place? He is a lot of salary (and dropping productively) for a team needing new players.

  6. hildezero - Oct 30, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    No. United just declined to pickup DeRo’s 2014 option. Meaning he’ll be a free agent. He’s old so he’ll probably retire.

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