The following is a response to “Trading Raul” (Cheap Seats, 2/20): Soccer team D.C. United made a terrible mistake in trading Raul Diaz Arce to the New England Revolution. In the past two years, I have attended 14 D.C. United matches for the explicit purpose of watching the young and talented Salvadoran. This has amounted to a total of over $360, not including the cost of the two finals and transportation to New England for the first MLS final.
Arce is the favorite player on D.C. United of hundreds of people all over the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. I personally will not attend any D.C. United games next season, since Diaz Arce is no longer playing. I by myself cannot be viewed as a significant threat to United’s earnings, but I am, of course, not alone. One can expect D.C. United’s attendance to drop noticeably next year, since a majority of spectators are the Hispanic crowd that comes to watch Diaz Arce and Marco Etcheverry perform. Arce is MLS’s top scorer and one of its more emotional and involved players. His quick and acrobatic plays have made him a crowd favorite and a pivotal key to United’s great success, and will he missed by Latinos and non-Latinos alike. I have waited for more than six years for a professional soccer league to be established in the United States, and after only two seasons, I am already disappointed and let downand by my own home team! It was foolish of D.C. United to trade one of its crowd-gatherers; this is a sign of how young this team still is. Bad trade, bad move.