Not Quite 50 days to D.C. United: Third-string goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra

USA TODAY Sports

It's that time again, sports fans: our roster-themed countdown to March 8 begins today. Well, yesterday, but who's counting?

This should have run yesterday, and I'd like to start off this countdown series with an apology to the numerologically precise among you for running our feature on #50 with a mere 49 days until D.C. United's season-opener on March 8. I'm sorry for any consternation or asymmetry you may have suffered from my oversight. With that out of the way, let's get to it.

We are now inside of 50 days until the 2014 MLS season kicks off, and that means it's time to start our Black and Red United 2014 countdown. We won't necessarily be going every day, instead focusing on roster numbers, starting with #50. Andrew Dykstra is probably the only player on the roster who we fans think of first as a full-time member of another club, namely United's USL-Pro affiliates, the Richmond Kickers. Dykstra was the Kickers' top-choice 'keeper in 2013, leading them to a regular season championship en route to claiming the lower league's Goalkeeper of the Year award. He remains firmly behind both Bill Hamid and Joe Willis, but that didn't stop the readers here at B&RU from voting 81% to 19% to keep him around for the upcoming season, knowing that he would again likely spend virtually the entire season down the road at Richmond's City Stadium.

I like these countdown pieces to feature a question to start the conversation in the comments, so let's go with this one: at age 28, Dykstra should still be on the upside of his career as a goalkeeper, and he's gotten more playing time (thanks to the lower-tier leagues) than United's second-stringer Joe Willis; if Hamid goes down with a longer term injury (knock wood) or is sold to some team in Europe this summer, who do you see claiming the starting job between the sticks at RFK?

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