Happy United Day, everybody! And what better way to kick off the day than some speculation as to whom D.C. United will be starting tonight against Sporting Kansas City. I've picked my team (which has one player different than who the conventional wisdom is picking), but, besides that, I think that most people agree on our starting 11 for today.
The template for this match is the lineup that Ben Olsen picked for the last of the Carolina Challenge Cup matches against the Columbus Crew; that was where he was going to roll out his starters. We obviously never got to see that game, but the lineup for it was released. That is the lineup with which I am going as my pick for the first game of the season.
The one pick that is different than the conventional wisdom is the pick of Dejan Jakovic starting over Emiliano Dudar. However, from what I heard from Ben Olsen on the brand new Capital Soccer Show, it seems like Dudar is not yet ready to start. I think that Olsen's words were that they are still working Dudar in; which, when you think it about, makes sense. Dudar has not played a competitive match in about a year, and so he is likely working back into full fitness and working into a new team. We will see him soon enough.
As for the bench, I am fairly certain we will see Joe Willis, Chris Korb, Danny Cruz, Maicon Santos, and Emiliano Dudar.. However, there are quite a few options for the last two spots on the bench. I feel like newly minted assistant coach Josh Wolff and Nick DeLeon will be fighting for one spot, with Wolffy likely wining, and that Marcelo Saragosa and Stephen King will be fighting for the other spot, with Saragosa winning due to the fact that he will be needed to replace Perry Kitchen next game. Many, including myself, might prefer to see Lance Rozeboom over Saragosa while Kitchen is gone, but I think only will lean on experience to begin with.
What are your lineups for tonight's game? Am I crazy thinking Jakovic will start over Dudar?