It is time, once again, for a little tournament that is often neglected. it is time, once again, for what some people call the magic of the Cup. It is time, once again, for one of my (and Kevin Payne's) favorite parts of the season. Yes, my friends, it is time for the US Open Cup! Personally, I like the way that they have rearranged the Open Cup this year, putting all of the MLS teams into the tournament proper; now every team has to care about the Open Cup for at least one match. I also like the fact that MLS teams can't just buy home games for almost the entire tournament, even though that has benefited D.C. United in the past. And of course, I like the fact that this is another piece of silverware that D.C. United has that the New York Red Bulls do not.
If you can't make it two hours down I-95 on a weeknight, have no fear! The Black and Red United team have you covered, as I will be live from the press box giving you all the latest updates from before, during, and after the game!
This match is also a good one for D.C. United to start to work some of the players that have been out due to injury back into the lineup and give some of the starters a rest. However, the Richmond Kickers are still a solid team who need to be respected (they beat two MLS teams in the Open Cup last year). With all that said, here is who I predict will be on the field for tonight's game in Richmond.
The two players that I want to see the most in this game are Emiliano Dudar and Ethan White. Being able to start those two as our backups in this game should go a long way towards shutting down Richmond's attack. Dudar can use this game as a way to work back into full match fitness and be ready for league matches in a few weeks. Due to injuries and a lack of depth, Daniel Woolard and Chris Korb will be starting in the customary spots.
We had a bit of a debate on the most recent episode of Filibuster as to who should start in the center of midfield for this game. You should go listen there for the full debate, but I want to see Branko Boskovic get as many games as possible before United have to make a decision on his contract and I want to see Perry Kitchen get a night off. Boskovic doesn't have to play the whole game, but any data that can be used to make a decision is good.
With this lineup, I would predict that the subs would be Bill Hamid, Hamdi Salihi, Perry Kitchen, Stephen King, Nick DeLeon, Brandon McDonald, and Chris Pontius. What do you all see/what do you all want to see?