By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Dwayne DeRosario scored the only goal for United (1-8-1), which lost a franchise-record seventh straight contest by a combined margin of 18-4.
Five years ago, Kyle Porter's anonymity evaporated. That tends to happen when a soccer player takes his career to a top-flight club in Germany — even an 18-year-old prospect whose only action would come in reserve matches.
After starting 21 games as a rookie in 2011, the University of Maryland product didn't see a second of playing time all season. That could change as soon as Saturday, when United host the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium.
United, who open the 2013 season with a conference final rematch at the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, began pursuing Ruiz after he scored for Guatemala in a 3-1 loss to the United States in October.
Townsend, who scored 43 goals during his four years at Maryland, will be asked in coach Ben Olsen's system to wreak havoc by applying high pressure to opposing back lines.
In what has been an unassuming offseason for D.C. United thus far, it seemed only appropriate that when their biggest splash came, the news wasn't the identity of their marquee signing but rather the means of acquiring him.
When D.C. United take the field to kick off a new season in March, the club for the first time will do so without Kevin Payne pulling the strings from the front office.
This past February, D.C. United coach Ben Olsen spoke of his club's arduous quest to bring in a true goal-scorer, then looked to prized signing Hamdi Salihi and declared, "We think we've found him."
As Dwayne De Rosario fought back tears, the D.C. United captain could hardly speak. It was a stunning sight, really, to see such raw emotion out of a figure celebrated as a commanding presence on the pitch. Vulnerability is not a trait one associates with the 34-year-old.
One by one, the players dropped to the turf, physically and emotionally spent. For D.C. United this season, there will be no getting up.
Over the course of nearly 10 months, D.C. United's winding path from playoff outsider to MLS Cup contender has taken the club through a grueling 34-game regular season and a trio of hectic postseason contests.
Upon joining D.C. United some 10 months ago, Nick DeLeon envisioned himself thriving on the biggest stages MLS has to offer. How quickly such events would transpire, of course, was a mystery. But he was confident it would be soon.
The MLS playoffs have been full of twists and turns for D.C. United. After a poor second-half performance against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, the club will have to find yet another memorable moment if it wants to play for this year's championship.
A superstorm, a nor'easter and a pair of corresponding postponements stood between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls playing their decisive playoff contest as planned. But when the match finally unfolded Thursday at Red Bull Arena, the drama proved worth the wait.
MLS on Wednesday postponed Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, determining continuing snow brought on by a nor'easter had made the field unplayable.
"I'm proud of those guys," Olsen said. "There are some positives, but it's still the same old things haunting us, the plays that we're doing to ourselves."
"I was proud of the overall commitment and the way they went about things tonight," D.C. coach Ben Olsen said. "I thought the spirit was good. It looked like a team that cared and wanted to dig themselves out of a situation that we're in."