Christian Gomez scored two goals as DC United cruised in the away leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup Quarterfinals.
DC United is the signature franchise of Major League Soccer despite the best efforts of the league office and Phil Anshcutz to make LA Galaxy the MLS’ most recognizable franchise. United’s famous 4-1 victory on Wednesday in Tegucigalpa against CD Olimpia once again demonstrated that DC United has superior international scouting and superior team cohesion when compared to the rest of MLS. Wednesday Night’s victory for DC was one of the most significant international triumphs for MLS in the past five years, a period when MLS teams have crashed and burnt out of the CONCACAF Champions Cup in embarrassing fashion. This came on the same night when Dynamo Houston (as they are called on this website) lost in the same competition to lesser opposition than DC faced.
Unlike the LA Galaxy who have changed their uniforms and color scheme on multiple occasions and who have relied on overpaying for high priced international names throughout their history, DC United has had a consistent international looking color scheme and logo and has relied on superior scouting and talent evaluation to continue winning. All four DC United goals the other night were scored by International players, none of whom would ever quailify to be canddiates for today’s “Beckham Rule” or yesterday’s frequent salary cap circumvention which was abused by the Galaxy through the years to sign the likes Luis Hernandez, Hong Myung-Bo, Carlos Hermasillo, and Andres Herzog. Wednesday’s goal scorers Christian Gomez, Faucindo Erepen and Luciano Emilio are all players DC United scouted directly and signed without salary trickery or one of MLS’ famous player allocation related trades. They were supported Wednesday night by the fine play of Clyde Sims, Bobby Boswell, Bryan Namoff and Josh Gros, all young American players whose time in the successful DC system have resulted in National Team call ups for all four players.
DC United has always been MLS’ shining star despite the league offices constant attempts to hurt the club in the interest of competition. By 1998 DC United was a team that could beat substantial international oppositionl. But thanks to MLS salary cap rules and desire to build up underachieving franchises in New York and Los Angeles the league seemed to have an unwritten policy of hurting DC anytime they became too good, scouted too well and developed too many good young American players.
Thanks to United, Washington is the only major American market where Soccer gets comparable press coverage to the other major sports. Thanks to United, Washington is the only MLS market where 10,000 fans will show up on a weekday night for a match, and thanks to United, MLS actually has some decent International results against prestigious clubs abroad.
MLS needs to embrace DC United because it is the only franchise in the league that has developed a European or South American club feel to it, and clearly United is the franchise most people associate with then league.