Troy Perkins, Bryan Namoff, Bobby Boswell (Devon McTavish, 59), Greg Vanney, Marc Burch (Rod Dyachenko, 41), Ben Olsen, Christian Gomez, Clyde Simms, Fred, Luciano Emilio (Nicholas Addlery, 65), Jaime Moreno. These were the D.C. United starters and substitutes that took on the Chicago Fire five years ago tomorrow in what was, until now, the team's last playoff game. Our good friend Jair Marrufo was the referee, and five cards were thrown around, including a Rod Dyachenko red card. No matter what happens on Saturday and Wednesday, at least we won't have to say that Nicholas Adderly played a key role in it.
Like many of you, I am glad that our conference semi-final is against the hated New York/New Jersey MetroStars, rather than against Sporting Kansas City or the Houston Dynamo. (Although, quick side note: best wishes to everyone who lives there on a quick recovery from Hurricane Sandy. We want to beat you fair and square on the field, not have a terrible storm try to do it for us.) I assume that D.C. United will stick to the game plan that has put them on a seven game unbeaten streak: keep strong in the back and take advantage of your opportunities when they present themselves.
As we have discussed before, Olsen really has settled into a starting ten, with Branko Boskovic, LEWIS NEAL, and Maicon Santos alternating in the 11th spot. While Boskovic was a good choice for the game against Chicago, I think that Maicon Santos is going to get the call against New York. I want to see Lionard Pajoy and Santos hammering away against Rafael Marquez and Marcus Holgersson and then bring on Boskovic late to pass them out of their socks.
The other side of this equation is that United have not faced an offense like the one possessed by the New York Red Bulls. Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper have finally gotten back to their early season form, before Hans Backe bizarrely benched Cooper. But as we all know, Hans Backe is Hans Backe, and the folks from Once A Metro seem to think that their best lineup for this playoff game includes Dax McCarty as the right midfielder. If they want to continue with that belief, go right ahead.