D.C. United's newest starter?
Well, I'm glad I waited to do the lineup post until after the mid-week random trade, right? In all seriousness though, Lionard Pajoy will likely be thrown directly into the fire against his old team, Philadelphia Union, this Sunday. With the most of D.C. United's players failing to produce over the past few games, it is a quixotic task to try and place blame on individual players. This has been a team effort and it will take a team effort for them to get going again. But with goals at a premium, they are still going to come from the familiar faces: Dwayne DeRosario and Chris Pontius.
You know what I may have preferred to trading Danny Cruz for Lionard Pajoy? More experimentation with the players United already had on the team. If Ben Olsen wants to shake things up, why not put Chris Pontius back up top? Why not try Andy Najar as a forward? Move Najar or Nick DeLeon into the center if you do not like the way that Boskovic is playing. I just don't like giving up a player who is a great teammate and, while frustrated, is not letting his lack of playing time become a problem. But from the way he hasn't featured at all in the last few games, Ben Olsen must have seen something that he doesn't like; hopefully he doesn't wish he had it back a few weeks from now. Follow me below for my predicted lineup for this Sunday's match.
This trade did not answer the most pressing lineup question this team has: who do you start between Chris Pontius, Andy Najar, and Nick DeLeon if you are unwilling to push any of them up top? You cannot bench Pontius at this point, and the way that Najar played in the last game leads me to believe that he will start yet again. But DeLeon played well too, scoring the goal! (My inner meme just wants to say BENNY Y U NO PLAY PONTIUS UP TOP)
The rest of the team is about what you would expect, so let me leave you with this: will the acquisition of Pajoy eventually push Branko Boskovic back into the midfield? Since getting his contract extension, our favorite Bodkin has his best Stephen King impersonation, being adequate and hardworking, but not having an effect on the game. Aside from Pontius and DeRo, no one's starting job is safe, so hopefully there are fires lit under all sorts of butts, especially Branko's. What do you all see happening this Sunday?
Oh, and don't mind this. It will obviously never happen, and probably exists only on the other side of the phantom tollbooth...