D.C. United continues their tough start to the season, playing the defending MLS Cup (and Western Conference) champion LA Galaxy one week after player the defending Eastern Conference champion Sporting Kansas City. The schedule does not get any easier until the middle of April, as after the Galaxy United play the Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Dallas, and the Seattle Sounders before getting the New England Revolution and the Montreal Impact. April may be the cruelest month to T.S. Eliot, but for D.C. United, it's March.
One bit of good roster news, however, is that it does not seem like Nick DeLeon will play for Trinidad and Tobago during Olympic qualifiers. One possible reason for that, according to the Trinidad and Tobago U-23 coach, is that he may have been spooked by the fact that they were recently denied FIFA funding while they are still struggling to pay their 2006 World Cup squad.
To see which two new players will be starting this weekend, follow me under the shadow of this red rock.
I predict that the roster against the LA Galaxy will be basically the same as that run out against the Sporks, save the two players who will be out for US U-23 duty (Perry Kitchen and Bill Hamid). Andy Najar, while being named to the Honduran U-23 team, will not join them until after this game. Hamid's position has a clear choice to fill it, with Joe Willis sliding in. He has looked solid when replacing Hamid, and hopefully he can continue that form against LA.
The replacement for Kitchen, however, is a little harder to predict. Most people, myself included, expect Marcelo Saragosa to start. A part of me wants to call for Lance Rozeboom to earn his debut, especially since he performed well during the preseason; however, I doubt Ben Olsen will make Boomer's first professional game a start against one of the best midfield groups in MLS. There is also a chance that Stephen King could get the start alongside Boskovic, but that is more of a tactical change rather than a straight like for like change, and against LA they will need a dedicated defensive midfielder.
As for the bench? I think the choices are rather easy, and will be Andrew Dykstra, Josh Wolff, Maicon Santos, Chris Korb, Danny Cruz, Emiliano Dudar, and Stephen King. What do you all see for the lineup?