By the time the fourth official held up the board noting five minutes of stoppage time, my daughter had seen enough. "Daddy, I'm going home" and with that shot backwards, she was up the stairs and heading to the 200 section. 10 pm is late for her, but I think that the desire to depart came from something more. The mood of supporters at the game wasn't great -- people were looking for something to cheer for and despite a beautiful cross from Q bundled into the net by a Dallas defender denying Andy Najar a goal but putting United on the board, there was not much to get behind.
I lingered before reaching the concourse long enough to see Dallas' third goal and then, along with most others in attendance, we headed for the exit. The sights on the way out of the stadium were more depressing than what we had seen on the field. Numerous fans walked by just shaking their heads in resignation and disbelief. How could things have gotten this bad? Who took the joy from Whoville?
This season has seen the culmination of the utter destruction of the glorious history of the club. Luciano Emilio went from being one of the most frightening strikers in the MLS to a guy who writers like Goff can address in mocking terms. Cristian Gomez walked away from the club a second time in disgrace. Fred was banished to Philadelphia to bring back another part of former United glory -- Troy Perkins, a keeper whose reputation has been all but wiped away by this awful season. A former United player was brought back to clean up after Soehn's tenure and was afforded none of the patience shown to his predecessor. Ben Olsen was handed the helm without any prospect of success. And now Jaime Moreno, one of the greatest players to don a United shirt in the club's (admittedly short) history, has been unceremoniously kicked to the curb.
What transpired at RFK tonight was truly a travesty. United fans have been asked to get behind a team where there is no glory, no honor, no hope. Just guys playing out their contractual obligations. Although Hamid started in place of Perkins, the backline in front of him featured Julius James, Carey Talley, Devon McTavish, and Marc Burch. I'm thrilled that Burch is back and the threat posed by his free kicks was on display tonight. But Carey Talley is 33. Julius James, Marc Burch, and Devon McTavish are 26. What is the point? Dejan (25) has a hamstring problem, but no injuries were reported regarding Jordan Graye (23) or Barry Rice (22) or new DCU recruit Jed Zayner (25). So, why is the oldest crew possible on the field? Are we supposed to come to the stadium to watch veterans put together digital video reels for future job positions? And if it is about letting veterans play out the string with honor, why isn't Jaime Moreno on the field?
Pablo Hernandez and Andy Najar were the best thing about being at RFK tonight. Hamid put in a disappointing shift tonight, but I am willing to sit through it with the hope that his game will improve with more first team experience. Same with Graye and Rice.
Before leaving for the game tonight, I caught some of the Red Bulls-Galaxy match. The gulf between what the supporters of these two franchises enjoy and what DCU fans currently endure has never been greater. And its widening. Every day.