The Impact of Injuries and Call-Ups on DCU

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by QuietSide, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. QuietSide

    QuietSide Member

    Oct 18, 2002
    A frequent comment on these boards and in the newspapers is that DCU has had to deal with a tremdendous amount of injuries, national team call-ups, missed games, etc. This is offered as one of the reasons for our current predicament.

    While this is certainly factually accurate (Reyes, Olsen, Rimando in the injury, Nelsen, Stewart, Convey in the call-up dept. among others), I'm curious if we have been hit harder than other MLS teams.

    Others know the status of the rest of the teams in the league better than I, so can anyone make the case that someone had more problems than us.

    I can think of NE losing Twellman, but that's only recent, and SJE losing Ching obviously hurt. McBride missed a good portion of the season, no? It seems the scum had tons of injury problems.

    My gut is that our situation is basically par for the course, but I'd be interested if someone could present a case that said we were worse off or better off in this category when compared to the rest of the league

    Is there a league stat for "player unavailable"?

    All of this also ties back in to to the need to get value for every spot on the compartively small MLS roster and the fact that we are clearly not getting anything for several positions on our team. Does every MLS team have at least one player(s) who hasn't seen a single minute of MLS action this year?
  2. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    well, do you mean by injuries or by coaches decision, because obviously we have had Stokes on the bench all year, and maybe even Carroll, without using them. that's just poor coaching, especially in light of the fact that they are competing for the u-23's and did well in the US Open Cup games DC played. basically, you are probably right though. Everyone has struggled at some point. I tend to look at a team like Colorado, who lost Zizi Roberts early on in the season and then hit the tank. They still picked themselves up off the canvas, and although they are struggling to get a result lately, they are still in the thick of things and Zizi Roberts has come back on fire. I'm not gonna make ANY excuses for United.
  3. jason1551

    jason1551 Member+

    Apr 9, 2003
    Columbus, GA
    DC United
    I don't think there is, but the fact that we lost two players who started and played in every game up until their injury is very significant. Add in a defender that was a starter and missed the entire season and that's a third of the lineup. I can' think of any team that was crippled like that or is currently crippled like that. Now Dallas has missed Kreis for awhile, but he was replaced by Eddie Johnson who has done well in his place. Ronnie O'Brien was their biggest early loss, but he is back now. Ching has been out for SJ, but Donovan and Mullan have picked up the slack. Twellman missed a few games, but Brown scored a hat-trick in his absence. With both gone. Fabbro and Noonan were able to beat NY/NJ. The Crew have missed Buddle, West, and Martino at one point and they may well be the most significant loss for that team at the time and part of the reason for their decline. KC has been relatively injury-free, as have LA, Chicago, and Colorado. NY/NJ lost Pope for a while, but he has come back strong. Moreno was injured, but he was hardly contributing anyway. In short, every team has faced injury woes, but I think DC was hit especially hard. Consider that at one point they had 5 players out (Reyes, Q1, Barclay, Stoichkov, and Q2) through injury or surgery and we look like a morgue. Currently we have Olsen, Rimando, Reyes, Q1, Barclay, and Stewart out with injury (though Stewart should be healthy for Saturday's game). That's 5 starters out right there, something that no team in MLS has had to overcome this season. The fact that we're still in the running for a playoff spot speaks volumes of how this team has overcome adversity.
  4. QuietSide

    QuietSide Member

    Oct 18, 2002
    My question is how many games did starter quality players miss as a result of injuries or call ups.

    For instance, count one for every game that Reyes, Stoichkov, or Q1 (all conceivably starters) were unavailable due to injury and one for every game Convey, Nelsen, Stewart missed on national team call ups, or in Convey's case, the nixed Tottenham sale.

    I don't count Barclay as a starter quality player so let's not count games he missed due to injury.

    Likewise, San Jose would count one point each for games missed by Ching, De Rosario, etc.

    Scum would count games missed by Pope, Moreno, Mathis, etc.

    The question is who would have the highest total. Are we in the middle of the pack or leading by a mile?

    I didn't mean to confuse things by mentioning Carroll and Stokes other than to note that when you are missing players due to injury and call up you need to be able to get some sort of contribution from others on your roster and we have seemingly written off several players... As a second question, I guess I was wondering if other teams were doing the same thing, meaning they had players who hadn't seen a minute of playing time either...

    Is there anyway to track this stuff down without going through every game report or news article for the entire year?
  5. Footer Phooter

    Jul 23, 2000
    Falls Church, VA

    My question with Stokes and Carroll has always been "Could they be that much worse than Alegria and Ivanov?" I'd have to go with no on that one, but then again I don't see them in practice every day.
  6. JuanMa

    JuanMa Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    I think MetroScum and DCU have suffered the most in the injury/unavailable players dept.

    However, DCU does not have the roster to make up for the players that are gone.

    Guevara can put NY/NJ on his shoulders, but DCU does not have a player like that. Wasnt Stewart supposed to be that player? Man I was fooled.

    Scum lost a great GK, but they are not suffering at goal like we are, with stupid infantile goals scored every game since Rimando went out due to injury.
  7. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I don't know the data for "games lost". It's somewhat deceptive anyhow. Let me explain. We lose Reyes (who would have started at right back). When Ivanov goes down (and he's been a starter most of the year), does he count as a loss? Of course (in terms of games lost). But he was a starter probably b/c Reyes went down. If Reyes doesn't go down, then Ivanov's injury has far less impact on the team (even though it still counts in "games lost" just as an injury to Trevor Perea or Jorge Geddes does). Also, I doubt the official injury stats include callups and camps (or even weddings for that matter). Plus, while Etcheverry's body is breaking down, I suspect there are 1 or 2 games he missed "to recover" there were more a function of he and Hudson not seeing eye-to-eye or Hudson using the injury as a way to sit Marco down (much like Arena used the excuse of taking the captaincy away from Harkes so he could "concentrate on his game and qualifying for the USMNT squad").

    I suspect we're near the top with "games lost." We had a bunch of guys (especially Convey but also Nelsen) with multiple callups this season. We also had a bunch of guys with injury problems (Stoichkov and Quaranta to name only two).

    That said, I just don't see using that as an excuse. We started the year with an incredibly deep squad. I really like all of our draft picks. Perea and maybe Geddes and Barclay are the only 3 on the roster this year that haven't proven they really belong. Everyone else, in USOC, U-23, MLS, or International play has shown they belong in MLS and can contribute in the right setting. Also, we never had situations like the Metros had this year or Colorado had under Myernick when they were struggling just to put 11 guys out on the field at times. Even when our roster was "depleted", we still had youngsters (Carroll, Stokes) we could have played.

    You know going into the season that some guys (Nelsen, Convey) will get callups. You know the U-23's will have some games. We were actually pretty lucky on that regard (callups) b/c Quintanilla got bumped by ES, Cerritos hasn't been in the picture lately and Rimando was expected to be a candidate for the Confed Cup and wasn't.

    Finally, the team that I think was the least affected by injuries and callups was....Dallas. Yes, they lost O'Brien--but midfield was their deepest position on the team. And as exciting as he was last year, I doubt many MLS observers would have labeled him one of the 3 best mids in MLS. Dallas emploded for many reasons and I think O'Brien's loss wasn't the biggest. Kreis went down after their season was already in the toilet. And Dallas has had practically no callups.

    So attributing our record and uneven season to injuries and callups IMHO is just plain wrong.
  8. owendylan

    owendylan Member

    May 30, 2001
    DC United
    The only way to compare apples to apples is you count every game a player missed not due to a coaching decision. So if it was an injury, a callup, a wedding, they all count the same. Total them all up and see who has the most and the least. It doesn't matter if the player was a starter or not the fact that the player is unavailable is the most relevant. Once you have these numbers you can debate on why a team that had a high number and still had a good record did that. Was it the players who were hurt were bench players anyway etc. . . This may go to showing what team had more depth. It also could be that some teams relied on the same 11 players and didn't have any depth.
  9. Tweaked

    Tweaked Member

    Jan 30, 2003
    The Hill
    It seems to me that injuries and call ups is a tired excuse that has been paraded around every year DCU has not made the playoffs.

    Every coach in MLS knows there are going to be callups and these dates are known months in advance. They also known that every player who sees significant paying time is going to get banged up and will probably miss games. The good coaches prepare for these eventualities.
  10. jason1551

    jason1551 Member+

    Apr 9, 2003
    Columbus, GA
    DC United
    That's not really a true statement. How do you prepare for the loss of two starters at the end of the season? You can train rookies hard, but that does't mean they'll be at the same level. You can have quality backups, but you still lose quality when you lose starters. It's not an excuse, but it is a reason why this team has performed badly in recent games. There are players that the team depend on and in their absence have to learn to work with new players. Case in point: lack of communication between Warren and Petke led to Columbus' first goal. Players that have trained together longer and have more gametime together are better able to determine what the other will do.
  11. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Of course injuries have an impact. But every team in MLS knows they're going to have them--so it makes sense to dump guys like Josh Wolff (talented but a history of injuries that makes Quaranta look like an ironman) and keep guys who are versatile (ie: play multiple positions).

    That's also why teams like Metro (which have a bunch of guys making max salary) start out with no depth and either find good role players (Wolyniec) or grow youngsters (Magee and Gaven).

    You have Eddie Pope on your roster and you know you'll have one the classiest guys in MLS, a great defender and a guy who--in a healthy year--will only play in 20 out of 30 games a season. You have Hristo Stoichkov or Marco Etcheverry on your roster and you know you have 2 guys who are older and have a history of chronic injuries that reduce their ability to play a lot of games (unlike a Guevara) or to play well in consecutive games (ala Sunday and Wednesday night games) b/c of recovery time.

    The injuries to Olsen and Rimando hurt. But the team has struggled for goals all season. It's lame that an outside mid is the key to our ability to score goals in the run of play (vs. relying on penalty kicks for scoring).

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