Ten Worst: Metro South Americans
May 3, 2020
As we just discussed, there have been some great South American players to appear for Metro. The other end of the spectrum... let's say that selecting the bottom 10 is even harder. To do so, we had to restrict to only players who were "meaningful" signings, so there is no place for the likes of Julian Gomez, Martin Klinger, or Jhonny Arteaga...
10) Branco (Brazil), 1997
In 13 games for Metro, fat World Cup winner Branco scored two goals. He also received three red cards, including one in a must-win game for spitting on Columbus' Mike Lapper. (Metro lost.) It's stuff of legends... and yet, he is only 10th on this list!
9) Gilmar (Brazil), 2001
Needing reinforcements for the 2001 playoff run, Nick Sakiewicz famously signed Gilmar after running into him in an airport. (The two knew each other from their time in Tampa Bay.) Gilmar played in eight games and got two red cards, including the first one in Metro playoff history.
8) Ruben Dario Hernandez (Colombia), 1996
The original bust, Rubencho was Metro's much ballyhooed foreign signing early in the inaugural season. He did record three assists, including one on Giovanni Savarese's bicycle kick goal that capped the three-goal comeback against Tampa, but failed to find the net. After just ten games, he was sent back home for "family reasons".
7) Joao Luiz (Brazil), 1997
In early MLS, transfer fees were rarely paid. Transfer fees for defenders? Well, it happened at least once, as Carlos Alberto Parreira made MLS pony up $1 million for the little-known defender, Joao Luiz. After just seven games, he suffered an injury, and went back to Brazil, but not before making sure surgery was done by American doctors. We're not sure if he ever played pro soccer again.
6) Oscar Echeverry (Colombia), 2008-09
In Colombia, Echeverry was Sergio Galvan Rey's backup. In MLS, he was supposed to partner Juan Pablo Angel, and failed to do so, going scoreless in nine games. He somehow lasted into the 2009 season, but you have to ask Juan Carlos Osorio why.
5) Gabriel Cichero (Venezuela), 2008
Yes, we're firmly into the Osorio stage of the program. Defender Cichero impressed on his debut, got red carded in his second game... and it was a swift fall from grace from there. With him in the lineup Metro leaked goals, allowing five twice, including in a must-win game in Chicago. (Metro lost.)
4) Digao (Brazil), 2012-13
We're not sure how much Kaka's younger brother was paid in 2012, when he played only one minute: as emergency forward when Metro was losing in the playoffs. In 2013, he was paid $200,000. He didn't appear for even a second.
3) Juan Pietravallo (Argentina), 2008-09
Finishing the triumvirate of Osorio awfulness (you got off easy, Jorge Rojas), "Hard Man" had one good game in defensive midfield, shutting down DC in a scoreless draw. After that, he turned into a walking disaster, a red card waiting to happen, a needless two-legged tackle to make up for his clumsiness. Somehow, Osorio gave him a two-year guaranteed deal, so his salary crippled Metro even after he was released.
2) Marcelo Vega (Chile), 1998
The supposed replacement for Roberto Donadoni was anything but: out-of-shape and classless. After lumbering on the field and scoring just one goal in 21 games, he was shipped to San Jose. There, he hid in the bushes when his team was running sprints and was mercifully cut. Amazingly, during that 1998 season Vega became the second current Metro to appear in the World Cup, playing 45 minutes in Chile's loss to Brazil.
1) Jaime Moreno (Bolivia), 2003
After the 2002 season, Moreno had enough of coach Ray Hudson, and wanted out of DC. Bob Bradley obliged, acquiring the striker in a massive deal. Moreno would only play 12 games for Metro, got injured, shut down for the season... then refused to report to camp orchestrated a trade back to DC the following offseason. He should have never been a Metro in the firt place... but at least one of his two goals for Metro did help beat the Scum.