Brandon McDonald will need to have a huge game against San Jose.
D.C. United may have just ended their lack of back to back wins streak, but there is a quick turnaround into a tough game against the Western Conference leading San Jose Earthquakes. However, Ben Olsen must now decide where the dominoes that Emiliano Dudar's injury will fall, and who will move where to try and contain Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart.
A makeshift back line is never something you want, especially not against one of the league's most prolific scorers the past few years and against one of the league's biggest pests. Attempting to keep pressure off of the back line, through the play of the midfield and forwards, will be key to getting a result in this game. If San Jose are allowed to constantly whip crosses in, D.C. United will lose this game.
The main question is whether you think Marcelo Saragosa should start in midfield or if you think that Chris Korb start as a fullback, and how big the difference is between either of those players and Perry Kitchen. But it is indicative of a larger issue that Perry Kitchen is even an option at right back. If we see him start at right back against San Jose, that means that the team definitely need more and better depth at fullback. Obviously, this is already a problem, with Korb being the only true reserve fullback, but moving Kitchen really accentuates that need. My pick of Korb at right back is more of a hopeful one, that with time to prepare he is good enough to keep Kitchen in the midfield. I liked what he did against Montreal for most of the second half, save his marking on the cross that led to the goal; if he is able to build on that, he might be a decent spot starter.
The other lingering question is about the goalkeepers, and whether Joe Willis has opened the door for a Bill Hamid start this Wednesday. Personally, I think it would be rather unfair to pull Willis after a few mistakes, but then again we are not seeing what is going on in training. If Bill Hamid has been outplaying Willis in practice, there is a small chance that we could see him start. I would be surprised, but I would not be shocked.
Another possibility is the return of Andy Najar, but he still has not shown enough to displace Danny Cruz. Cruz will need a rest at some point, but until then (or until yellow card accumulation catches up to him), I do not see Najar getting back into the lineup unless there is a dramatic uptick in his play. For subs, I see Bill Hamid, Marcelo Saragosa, Branko Boskovic, Hamdi Salihi, Andy Najar, Lewis Neal, and Stephen King. This is a game where there could be a lot of moving parts; what do you all see?