Could DCU-04 beat DCU-99 or DCU-98 or...?

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by Darryl, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. Darryl

    Darryl Member

    Nov 27, 1999
    Arlington, VA
    Do you think if DC United 2004 could play DC United 1999 or DCU-98 or DCU-97 or DCU-96, who would win?

    I realize that we would of course have to have two Jaime Morenos on the field for any of these match-ups, and that if DCU-04 played DCU-99 we would have one Ben Olsen on each side, but lets just pretend this could work.

    I think that DCU-98 may have been the best of them all, even if they lost MLS Cup that year. It was DCU-98 that won the Inter-Continental Cup, after all.

    I think that DCU-04 could have beaten DCU-96, but I think the DCU-97/98/99 teams would beat our current champions.

    What do you think?
  2. Chris Caron

    Chris Caron New Member

    Feb 6, 2000
    I was there at RFK when the '98 team won the Concacaf Cup, that my friends was one hell of a side on the field that day.

    Does anyone realize that 2004 was the first MLS Cup for United without Jeff Agoos or Richie Williams or Marco Etcheverry?

    I personally like '96. Tony Sanneh, Eddie Pope, Marco Etcheverry, Jeff Agoos, Mark Simpson, John Harkes, Richie Williams, Diaz Arce and Jaime Moreno...DC has never won an MLS Cup/Title without Jaime Moreno...yikes.

    '97 didn't seem to have many challengers and it was the sophmore season for the league...but there was not a significant change to the '97 squad unless you count Ben Iroha.

    '98 saw DC United with Ben Olsen on board, I believe Harkes was gone or was on the decline and Tony Sanneh and Ben Iroha had taken on large rolls, but Iroha was going to leave.

    '99...really '99 comes in last.

    '04 had the 3-5-2 vs. the 4-4-2 of the previous years. Really this addressed the decline in wing back play.

    All things considered '98 was the most athletic and could hold the ball more. But I really have to give the edge to the '97 squad...experience, confidence, technical skill, healthy, speedy, and with Bruce Arena on the side line. Good over lapping play from the wing backs and Marco Etcheverry on top form.

    I'd say that 98 would defeat the 2004 club 3-1. And that 97 would defeat 98 2-1.

    I think though that the 2005-2006 or 2008-2010 will be the best yet. Freddy Adu playing full time developing into a regular national team player, Esckie with more confidence, a healthy Olsen, a solidified defense, and a few other things will make it so.
  3. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    Good Grief. Even the 2004 Burn, Fire, and Revs would all kick the 96-99 United teams asses.

    The league has greatly improved. Sure - the peak performers would fit in, but teams these days are much better from 1 through 11 than even the championship teams of yore.

    Our little league is growing up nicely.
  4. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    I have no doubt the 2004 team would beat the any of the teams from the '96 - '99 era, 9 out of 10 times. I think the league has progressed that much.

    I can't wait to see what the '04 squad can do in real international competition. Sucks that Earnie will be gone before then.
  5. Atouk

    Atouk BigSoccer Supporter

    DC United
    Apr 16, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No MLS team currently is as deep from 1-11 as the '98 Inter-American Cup champions:

    Six played in World Cups, three had done so at the time (some, like Agoos, Llamosa, and Etcheverry were better at that time than when they played in the World Cup, while reverse arguments could be made for Sanneh and Harkes, with Pope even).

    Four others have double-digit international caps (and all had been been capped by the time of the Inter-American Cup victory in '98, with Olsen and Williams earning their first the month before).

    The keeper is still in the league six years later.

    Simply put, how many MLS teams have that large a number of players who can hold their own at international level? While overall play in MLS has improved, I don't read soccer writers saying the international game has grown by leaps and bounds in the last six years. At that time, United had 10 guys capable of playing at that level for the US and Bolivia (plus Canadian nat Aunger). No team has 10/11 such guys now, do they?
  6. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    Also, 7 of the 11 starters from teh 1998 still play in MLS today.

  7. Jose L. Couso

    Jose L. Couso New Member

    Jul 31, 2000
    Arlington, VA
    While I agree that the league has progressed, I have to agree with Mark.

    Further evidence is found in the only international competion which MLS teams have entered, i.e. Concacaf Cup.

    Since the Galaxy won the 2000 tournament, only one MLS team has advanced past the quaterfinals, the 2002 Kansas City Wizards (who lost to Morelia in the semis on a 2-7 aggregate). Teams that failed to advance include the 2003 Galaxy, the 2002 & 2004 Chicago Fire, the 2002, 2003 & 2004 San Jose Earthquakes, the 2003 Columbus Crew and the 2003 New England Revolution.
  8. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with Mead. The players are simply better now. We look at the older team with such fondness because of the "era" they played in. However, the national team issue falls flat for me, because the youngsters right now have more skill than the guys who were previously on the national team. It's a whole different world for American soccer right now. I know many will disagree, but that's just my 2 cents.
  9. vivaelbolivar

    vivaelbolivar New Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    until this team wins international hardware the 1990's team will have the edge

    as far as the 1998 DC United team it could beat any allstar team you want to put together from MLS past or present (they lost to chicago of tiredness)

    to say the league improved is true but how many players right now are at the level of a 1998 Etch or 1997 Moreno or 1999 Olsen
  10. Sundevil9

    Sundevil9 New Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Reston, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The 1998 team is the best MLS side to date. They could will goals and victories.

    As pointed out above, most of those players are still around, and some are even still All-Star calibre.

    I would have liked to have seen what would have been if the 1998 team could have been kept together.

    That evening at Lockhart was just magic.
  11. mikeb3142

    mikeb3142 Member

    Jun 30, 2001
    Pasadena CA
    I don't think this team could touch the 97,98 teams. While the league has progressed in the last 6-7 years, those DC teams were so much further ahead of the rest of the league. This DC team was not a dominant team, it had a lot of heart and got hot at the right time. Thats nothing to take anything away from this group of players, in fact I think this ride was a lot more fun.

    Going back to those games against Vasco, its really amazing to see the talent on the field for DC. You could look around and at just about every position say DC had a talent advantage over the MLS team it was playing.
  12. grandinquisitor28

    Feb 11, 2002
    '98 squad. It kills me that they didn't win it all. I think that was by far the most dominating team in the History of the MLS. Like comparing Hall of Famers from different era's, Im not sure you can really fairly compare the squads unless you put them in a vaccum and accept that the league was distinctly different in each time period to some degree. Suffice it to say, I think the '98 squad was the most talented, and the best, though it definitely competed against weaker opponents. Just looking back, that entire season I never had a worry or a fear, I fully expected DC to roll everyone. Never got that feeling with this year's squad or the '99 squad (the '97 one was close) and too many forget that the '96 squad opened the season with four consecutive losses. Then it righted the ship and if I recall correctly lost only 10 of it's remaining 28 games and by the time the playoffs came around were hitting on most if not all cylinders.

    Still, '98's the team to me, they're like the '83 Redskins, a team I fully believe all of us felt was a powerhouse destined for a championship who had the rug pulled out from under them by an inferior squad who just played better that day. It happens. Just look at the Euro '04 Championships.
  13. TEConnor

    TEConnor New Member

    Feb 22, 1999
    I've seen all the DC championship teams. I believe we'd have a close game between 2004 and 1998.

    As much as I liked the '96 and '97 teams, they had a few weak players that were starters or key subs, in my opinion. This team is superior to '97 and '96 for sure (Shaun Medved, David Vaudreil, etc. anyone?). The '99 team wasn't as good as '98 without Harkes and Sanneh. Plus, we all know that was the most difficult title of the early eras and the team pulled it off despite the coach.

    Hence, it is just '04 versus '98. The one difference is that the current midfield, in my opinion, is better. Sure Marco was great, the magician. However, this 5 man unit is physically and tactically superior. They'd run AMBOD, Marco, Harkes, and Sanneh into the ground. Marco, even in his prime, would have had serious trouble with this current side. Think Chicago 98. Eski vs Lassiter (in his prime). I'd give the edge to Eski, honestly he's a much more complete player.

    Let's call it a draw.

  14. Kenobi

    Kenobi Member

    Jul 11, 1999
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've got to say, given the styles of play, I think the '04 version runs the '98 version into the ground. Consider Ben Olsen as a representative of each team. '98 Ben Olsen, full of youthful energy, but running all over the field without purpose. '04 Ben Olsen, also running all over the field, but always with the ball or disrupting the opponent's attack. '98 United was a slow 'n steady possession-based offense playing through Etcheverry at all times, but I don't think Agoos and Pope could keep up with the speed of '04 United's counterattack (see Nowak, Peter, circa '98 MLS Cup). '04 United would clamp down on '98 Etcheverry through a combination of Olsen, Carroll and Kovalenko and take Etch out of the game. Wily '04 Moreno would constantly spring Eskandarian, who would turn '98 Agoos for a goal (much like he did Nick Garcia) and force '98 Pope to pull him down in the box for a PK (which '04 Moreno is NOT allowed to take). 2-0, '04 United.
  15. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    I agree most with Tim here- it's a toss up between the 98 and 04 teams as to who's the best.

    I understand the logic that Andy Mead first brought up that since the league is better then the later-day champs must be better, but that logic is false since we are talking about the elite teams here, not the rank and file teams. In other words while the 98 DCU team could hold it's own today, the 98 Revs would be basement dwellers by a mile.

    But let's break down the 98 and 04 teams and see where they measure up:


    98- Moreno and Lassiter
    04- Moreno and Eskandarian

    Analysis: I say it's a toss up here and if I had to choose I'd say the 04 pair is barely better. The 98 Moreno is the best of the four since he had more speed than the 04 Moreno. In fact the 98 pair is really fast; the 04 guys fairly pedestrian. But Esky really came on skill-wise to nullify Rocket Roy's speed advantage. Really, those two play very differently.


    I'm gonna tweek the 98 team to a five man midfield to make comparisons a bit easier.

    98- Etcheverry, Harkes, Olsen, Sanneh, Williams
    04- Gomez, Stewart, Kovalenko, Olsen, Carroll

    Analysis: Etch 98 is the best player on either team and although Gomez is good, there's just no comparison between the two a-mids. The wing play is basically a tie between the two teams. Williams is better than Carroll is so far. In the end, the 98 team is slightly better here because of Etch.


    So I'm looking at back three's here.

    98 Pope, Llamosa, Agoos
    04 Namoff, Nelsen, Petke

    Analysis- 98 gets the slight nod here too. If Llamosa had had his US citizenship all three would have been on the 98 World Cup team and he probably would have started- this according to Steve Sampson. Nelsen belongs right there with those three but the other two are a step below. As to the best defender on either team I say Pope is the best. Yes, Nellie is probably going to the Premiereship, but back in 98 Pope was courted and turned down PSV Eindhoven. Too much is made of Pope's lack of leadership but it's not like the 98 defense was a sieve and his speed is the best easily of the six defenders- even today.


    98 Arena
    04 Nowak

    Analysis: Wow. To my mind, two of the three best MLS coaches ever. Both coaches develop superior game plans, get their players to fully buy into them and then crush the will of the opposing teams. I...I just can't pick a winner here. Arena's weakness here is that he didn't in reality have a right back, but on the other hand, by winning the CONCACAF and Inter-American cups, his team did more.

    Final analysis- Yeah Tim- toss up.
  16. TEConnor

    TEConnor New Member

    Feb 22, 1999
    I think you are giving Richie far more credit than is deserved. If you shut Marco down, Williams was never a threat in an offensive way. Same can't be said about Carroll.

    By the way, in the InterAmerican cup we played the 3-5-2 you put up there. Those were two of the best games played by the '98 team.

  17. Serie Zed

    Serie Zed Member

    Jul 14, 2000
    That's your opinion. My opinion is that your opinion isn't based in reality.

    Position by position:

    --Moreno today is not the player Moreno was in 1998.
    --Lassiter in his prime was better than Esky this year (though maybe not next).
    --Etcheverry is better than Gomez.
    --Harkes and Olsen (pre injury) were better than Gros/Stewart and Olsen today.
    --Williams was the consumate pro, Carroll is a raw rookie. Carroll is a lot more athletic than Richie ever was, but it might still be a wash.
    --Backline of Agoos, Pope, Llamosa and Sanneh -- all Nats. Only Nelsen is in that league.
    --And Garlick or Presthus were both at least as good as Rimando (I think Nicky is hopelessly overrated).

    So not only was the 1998 team BETTER than the 2004 team, but you can make the argument that it was BETTER AT EVERY POSITION. It's not even close.
  18. vivaelbolivar

    vivaelbolivar New Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    how about moreno 98 burning dc 04 backline :D
  19. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    But Wee One far far far more responsibilty than Carroll has. probably too much in today's league (and so I'm thinking the 04 team would win now) but still he did his job well.
  20. snbdrenzo

    snbdrenzo Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    1998 DCU by far the best MLS team to ever take the field. They didn't have to win MLS Cup that year. Everyone already knew DC was the best team in the league. They had more important trophies to win, which they proved with the international hardware.
  21. gocaps

    gocaps Member

    Sep 23, 2000
    With the SEs in 134
    Disagree and agree.

    The league HAS improved, but the bottom line is that the early United teams in large measure played to their competition. When they felt like stepping up, they did - as in back-to-back thrashings of LA and Chicago early in the '98 season when both were tearing up the league - as if to say, "Not so fast, guys, we're still the boss around here."

    And lest we forget the back-to-back victories over Leon and Toluca to win the Champions Cup. Two hard-fought games against teams who felt as though no American side was going to deny them a trophy and didn't give an inch. Those were probably the two best games that the '98 United team played - they had to step up to the competition or they would have been blown out. And they did.

    I don't think there's a single MLS team today that has that fifth gear. In large measure, that's because they have to play at top level all the time, because, as you said, the league is better.

    Those early United teams were unique. Could the '98 Fire or '00 Wizards beat the '04 Wizards or United? I doubt it. But '97-'99 United could have...
  22. NicktheGreek

    NicktheGreek Member+

    Feb 15, 2001
    In 98 the United boards on Big Soccer would have had a thread -How many goals will we score from corner kicks this week? Not the one that asked how many corner kicks till we score-
    Nuff said
  23. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    DC United
    Well said.
  24. jeffresistor

    jeffresistor New Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Section 135
    Suppose for a moment that while zipping through time and space on their way to this competition, all of the players vanished into another dimension, the lone exceptions being the head coaches and each version of Jaime Moreno. That would leave us with Nowak, two versions of the Bruce and Rongen to coach, and 4 versions of Jaime Moreno.

    I'm interested to hear your predictions on 2004 Nowak\Moreno vs all 3 of the other combinations, as well as who would take home the cup if it were a 4 team playoff round. Let's say home and "home" for the first round, then one final at home.

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