Ethan White and Stephen King were on hand Friday night at Ludwig. They signed autographs for fans in attendance (and briefly entertained my four-year old). White & King also walked out at halftime while the p.a. promoted Sunday's D.C. United match against Chivas. Not even polite applause from the stands.
D.C. United's formal presence at Maryland games is appreciated, although I am not sure how much it adds beyond the regular informal attendance of players and management. Choosing White and King as the teams representatives was also a bit strange. On the surface, two Maryland alums on the club's roster are the only rational choice -- but both White and King have been hard done under Olsen's regime. After starting 21 games last year (and playing in three more), Ethan White has not played a minute of first team football for D.C. United this season. Stephen King started 11 games (and played in 20) in 2011. Numbers in 2012? 1 and 7. King's hurt, but even if he was healthy, there is little chance he would play under Olsen. So why send these two out as the face of the team?
Probably the same reason why Branko Boskovic got substituted out of the game in the 58th minute of Thursday's match against the Union. All the better that his removal came shortly after a gorgeous cross clubbed fifty yards over the crossbar by Lionard Pajoy.
Want to watch entertaining football? Screw you. Chew on this "bite."
Think you know something about the game? Screw you. My skin is gossamer thin.
Believe that you bear witness to the rebirth of United? Screw you. I can cut off my nose with the best of them.
Over the last five home MLS fixtures, an average of 12,530 fans have come out to RFK. That is 11.3% below the average for the prior ten home matches (14,132) and, compared to the season averages for every other MLS team, is the lowest in the league. The Revolution have managed to draw an average of 12,542 fans this season -- meaning that we are now packing in even fewer fans than New England. A playoff team in a city stadium drawing less than 13,000 in the MLS is ridiculous.
There will be all kinds of vapid opinions bandied about as to why attendance has been awful; e.g., a terrible stadium, years of past performance finally catching up, and a captivating Washington Nationals run. Maybe. But the debate we are having about whether to head down to RFK and use our season tickets on Sunday has nothing to do with these variables. Instead, that 58th minute substitution looms large (as does the ridiculous take that the substitution was somehow seminal in the win -- yes, Maicon Santos played a terrifically weighted through ball up to Pontius, but isn't applauding Santos for the goal more random than not crediting Boskovic for his pitch perfect cross simply because Pajoy's screwed up one and not the other?).
Sure, fans are superficial and lack true knowledge about football strategy and tactics. And, sure, we don't get to see what the gaffer views on the training ground. So, by all means, treat us as idiots while you stamp your authority on our foreheads. We'll take it.
Project 11,000 is now in full effect.