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Starting to clean up the roster mess at D.C. United

Carlos Ruiz

DC United forward Carlos Ruiz prior to the start of their MLS soccer game against Real Salt Lake, Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Washington. DC United defeated Real Salt Lake 1-0. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)


You know about that first rules of holes; when you find yourself in one, stop digging.

So good on D.C. United for recognizing mistakes and moving to fix them. The club today announced that it has declined options on Lionard Pajoy, Carlos Ruiz and midfielder Marcelo Saragosa.

The old “keep on digging” strategy had been employed at points throughout the year, as coach Ben Olsen continued to play Pajoy through the spring, never mind that he was clearly a striker who couldn’t strike. And the club signed Ruiz because … well … they signed Ruiz. Not sure what else to say about a textbook “reach.”

And when was the last time Saragosa, a marginally skilled tough guy midfielder, played for a really good team? That would be the 2005 champion LA Galaxy. Of course, he only started two games for Steve Sampson’s bunch that year – and it wasn’t really even a great team, just one that wound its way rather fortuitously through a deflated playoff field.

Signing all three members of this trio was a mistake. (Heck, the club even traded to get Pajoy.) Choices like those were one of the many, many reason United just finished its season as the worst – the worst! – team in MLS history.

So, jettisoning these three is a good start to cleaning up the mess.

(MORE: Unwanted recognition -- D.C. United sets MLS record with three-win season)

Unfortunately, the same day brought news that the organization is still all thumbs, firing two of its support staff, two of its press officers.

Is the implication that DC United (Did we mention the team was the WORST in MLS history?) was getting bad press, and that it was the PR staff’s fault?

Sure. Let’s go with that. Because it can’t be, you know, that a team wrought with ridiculous personnel choices seriously stunk up the joint this year, right?