Remember when Steven Gerrard (then of Liverpool FC) was linked with a possible move to the New York Red Bulls? Yea, I remember, because I said it was a bad idea to go after an older Designated Player, let alone Gerrard.
Eventually, he signed with the LA Galacy after his season ended at Liverpool. Like most new foreign players, he did not do well in his first half season. In 13 Games Started, he only managed 2 goals and 3 assists. The LA Galaxy dropped into the knockout round of the Western Conference Standings, and lost a knockout game to the Seattle Sounders, eliminating them from the playoffs.
The topping on the cake now is some recent comments he made when speaking to Adam Serrano for the team's website. (Emphasis mine)
"Going on the road, playing on turf, playing at altitude, playing in humidity, those are the hurdles that I've had to face over the last three months that I wasn't aware of. Every away game has a different challenge," said Gerrard. "At home, we've got no problems because we're very strong and we play well. We'll always win more than we lose. For us to move forward next year and finish in the top two spots—and avoid games like [Seattle]—we've got to be better defensively and stop conceding on set pieces and crosses."
It's one thing to adjust to a new team. It's one thing to adjust to playing in the United States, which is obviously a lot different from England just because of the size of the country. But to not be aware of it?
It's not like Liverpool had spent the last few years playing pre-season friendlies in the US. It's not like there aren't players he could've talked to before coming over, like Robbie Keane. MLS might present some new challenges not faced in Europe (outside of Champions/Europa League), but I mean come on, to say you weren't aware? That's just babytown frolics.
While my article from earlier this year was about mortgaging the next few years and the impact DPs rarely have right off the bat, these comments just make things all the more justified. Instead of getting an older Gerrard halfway through the year, the Red Bulls got Sacha Kljestan and a younger DP in Gonzalo Veron. They are on the verge of another Eastern Conference Finals. They are set up to have a young core of players for the next few years. They are set up for success while LA might have to look for a new midfielder after a year and a half.
Sometimes (OK, most times), it's fun to say I told you so.