On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense for DC United to trade the veteran Troy Perkins to Portland, handing the keys to 19 year old Bill Hamid. Even after the year that Perkins’ had, he’s still a fringe international. But, as anyone who’s been following DC United knows, its all about the youth movement and a clean break from the past. Out are all of the vestiges of trying to hold onto the past; it always struck me as a little desperate that many of the people that Curt Onalfo brought back were DC United alums, such as Carey Talley, Luciano Emilio, and Troy Perkins. He was trying to cling to the past and not having to rebuild.
I bet that Troy Perkins will be able to rebound and show more of his international form, rather than his 2010. But ever since Ben Olsen became coach, he’s provide that, even though he is a link to DC United’s past, he is not beholden to it. If Jaime Moreno couldn’t break the lineup with Olsen as coach, it proves that Ben just wants to win. Now, for better or worse, Ben is creating his own team. After they signed Ethan White, there was no need to sign Jimmy Conrad; with Bill Hamid, there’s no need for Troy Perkins; with a striker with the #3 pick (hopefully), there is no need for Juan Pablo Angel. This isn’t about winning in 2011. Its about building a sustainable future for DC, when for years they’ve been trying to postpone this inevitable rebuilding.
To be fair, I applaud Dave Kasper for allowing Olsen to put his stamp on this team. I think that Kasper has realized that his previous strategy hasn’t been working and has changed from “the DC United way” to a way that can actually work. It also shows that Kasper is willing to give Olsen a couple of years to build a team; no youth movement is going to produce results in year one.