It feels like its been almost a year since D.C. United played its last preseason game. Or at least a few months. But it's actually been just three days. It's felt much longer because so much has happened since. The team shocked the world, including its own fan base when it signed Hamdi Salihi on Thursday to a designated player contract, and then waived promising young forward Blake Brettschneider a day later.
If you've been following along with this blog, then you know that we've already written plenty of words about Salihi, and given you the opportunity to express your feelings about Brettschneider. So how about we take a step back and look at that game again then?
After battling the Chicago Fire to a scoreless draw earlier in the week, United continued its Florida camp with a friendly match against Swedish club Malmo FF at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, FL. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with United falling behind in the first half after a free kick goal from former Seattle Sounders player Erik Friberg, and then drawing even in the second with a header from trialist Ryan Richter.
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In the first half, United used the following starting lineup, which we thought might actually be their starting lineup for First Kick until those other unexpected changes happened in 24 hours immediately following the match.
Danny Cruz and Dwayne De Rosario were specifically mentioned in the dcunited.com writeup as creating some good chances for D.C. But this lineup gave up United's first goal of the preseason, meaning Bill Hamid is the only United goalkeeper to concede a goal thus far in 2012. Let's just cut him.
United made wholesale changes in the second half, opting for the following lineup:
Much has happened since then though. In addition to Brettschneider, United has also parted ways with Sebastian Svard, Jed Zayner, and Charles Rodriguez, leaving Rozeboom as the only unsigned rookie remaining in camp. Stefan Jerome, Marcelo Saragosa, Seth C'deBaca, Andrew Dykstra, Richter, and Rozeboom all seem set to continue on to the next leg of training camp in Arizona, where United will hold scrimmages against Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City.
Richter and Rozeboom specifically have likely done enough to earn contracts for the season as two-way midfielders who have performed well in both scrimmages. Rozeboom has received surprisingly strong unsolicited positive reviews from his teammates already (via comments to @cboehm and @the_amt). C'DeBaca and Dykstra have also survived several rounds of cuts and might have a 50% chance or better of making the roster as well. Saragosa and Jerome probably still have more to prove during the Arizona trip.