Old Glory DC has been dreadful to start the year. Their best player hasn’t helped.
Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz’s five game ban is the latest in a long line of issues for the talented back row forward. DC’s number eight has seen more cards than a blackjack dealer over the last several years. The accumulation of incidents played a role in the length of his ban after a blatant miss by the TMO after he should have been red carded against the Toronto Arrows. Fa’anana-Schultz was also sent off after a pair of yellow cards in the second leg of the Eagle’s series against Canada last year.
At what point does DC have to question his role with the franchise?
Fa’anana-Schultz is a highly talented player, but his disciplinary history has greatly limited his career. Any player on the field is worth more than a player in the bin. Unless he finds a way to stay composed on the field, even his strong play cannot make up for his sendings off.
Consider his role in this particular side. DC is a young team that’s trying to find their core for the future. At just 25 years of age, Fa’anana-Schultz could be a vocal leader of this team. Instead, his leadership style is finding ways to be sent off the pitch. (He may not be the captain, but don’t kid yourself. Eagles are automatic leaders within their club, like it or not.)
A change of scenery could become necessary for both the player and the team. DC has been badly beaten through the first quarter of the MLR season. Old Glory needs to establish a winning culture, but what’s the point in holding on if you’re losing consistently anyway?
Since we don’t know the state of his contract (what else is new), its hard to recommend a path for DC. They would be wise to listen to any incoming offers. Fa’anana-Schultz could be better suited to play in an environment where he isn’t the primary play-maker. He needs someone to be a strong presence, throw an arm around him, and teach him to control himself.
If he’s on a long term deal, DC could wait until the offseason. If not, they should try moving him during the year. He’s likely on a decent salary, so DC would likely need to either include cap space or take a player to match salaries. However, the return (likely draft picks in 2022) could provide a better tool for building this side than retaining Fa’anana-Schultz.
My gut says he won’t be out immediately, unless someone swoops in with an overvalued offer, but it also feels like Fa’anana-Schultz could be down to his last chance in the capitol. Regardless of the exact move, its time for DC is start considering their options.