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DC United roster rolls on down to Mexico

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DC United begins the next leg of their preseason with a journey south of the border to Torreon, Mexico, home of Premira Division club Santos Laguna.  This brief stay in our neighboring country will include a match against the home side on Wednesday night, which may give us some more insight into Onalfo's preferred starting lineup at this point.

This will be a major test against an in-season club (although its tough to say whether Santos will be playing many of their starters).  Let's take a look at United's options after the break.

Player Pos S D I Notes
Troy Perkins G 1 Undisputed #1 goalkeeper
Josh Wicks G 2 Now the undisputed #2 goalkeeper with Burse leaving without a contract
Bill Hamid G 1 Undisputed #3 goalkeeper
Bryan Namoff D 3 Said to be likely to return to action this season, but not likely for our first match
Dejan Jakovic D 4 1 Scored our lone goal against FGCU
Julius James D 5 2 Looks to be our starting center back with Burch injured and Arzu probably out of the picture
Quiarol Arzu D 6 3 If United wanted him, they would have signed him by now
Jermaine Taylor D 7 4 Finally is able to join the team after his trial was delayed due to injury
Marc Burch D 8 Foot surgery will cost him 4 months, and will temporarily free up a senior spot if placed on IR
Rodney Wallace D/M 9 Has seen time both at LB and LM during scrimmages. Where will he play on Wednesday?
Devon McTavish D/M 10 Probably the leading candidate to replace Simms at CDM for the near future
Lawson Vaughn D 11 Haven't heard much from him this preseason. Not sure how much longer he'll last
Jordan Graye D 2 Rookie could make the developmental roster if he proves to be a capable backup for Namoff
Lyle Adams D 3 Played left back in scrimmages. Chances of making the team improved with Burch's injury
Barry Rice D 4 Undrafted rookie from Kentucky is a dark horse to make the developmental roster
Juan Manuel Pena D 12 5 37-year old Bolivian defender is a curious choice for a young team
Daniel Woolard D 13 Joins the club on trial after 3 seasons and 12 appearances with Chicago
Clyde Simms M 14 2009 Team MVP will miss the remainder of the preseason with injury
Santino Quaranta M/F 15 Said to be in the best condition of his life. Hopefully that translates into results
Christian Castillo M 16 6 Without a proven playmaker, Castillo is going to have to step up and contribute right away
Danny Szetela M 17 Rejoins the team this week after sitting out the Bradenton leg with an injury
Tiyi Shipalane M 18 7 Had to be happy to see Arzu leave town without a contract
Kurt Morsink M 19 25-year old central midfielder is a veteran of Onalfo's system from his days as a Wizard
Brandon Barklage M 5 He is being given every opportunity to prove himself as a potential starter
John DiRaimondo M 6 I still don't see anyone knocking him off the developmental roster at this point
Daniel Wasson M 20 Almost forgot he was still with the team. Probably not for much longer
Chris Pontius F/M 21 Starting forward rejoins the team after hanging out with the USMNT
Jaime Moreno F 22 Would another 9 goal season be too much to ask?
Danny Allsopp F 23 8 Australian striker has received positive reviews so far in scrimmages
Boyzzz Khumalo F/M 24 9 Spent most of his time as a forward this preseason, with 2 goals to his name
Adam Cristman F 25 Another former Wizard familiar with Onalfo's system

So goalkeeper Ray Burse and defender Shintaro Haraka have come and gone since our last Rolling Roster update, and we've also recently seen the departures of last season's #2 goalkeeper Milos Kocic, recently signed Floribert N'Galula, undrafted rookie Two-Boys Gumede, Honduran trialist Quiarol Arzu, and two teenagers Andy Najar and Arnolyn Guity.

Where there was previously substantial competition for the 7 international slots, that seems to have been cleaned up significantly thanks to Kocic's dismissal and Arzu leaving without a contract and probably being out of the team's plans.  It's nice to see Jermaine Taylor finally make it to camp after recovering from a nagging injury, but the inclusion of 37-year old former La Liga defender Juan Manuel Pena will raise some eyebrows.

The competition for senior roster slots remains fairly mild, despite United granting a contract to Kurt Morsink.  With Arzu not likely in our immediate plans, and my assumption that Pena is too old to truly impress anybody, the only real competition might be for Daniels Wasson or Woolard to try to unseat Vaughn or McTavish.  Something else to keep in mind is that the team can start the season with Marc Burch on injured reserve and recall him anytime after five games in.

The developmental roster competition remains fierce.  I've got a hunch that Jordan Graye isn't all that the team hoped he would be, otherwise there would have been no need to give Barry Rice a trial.  So it looks to me like last year's holdovers Hamid, Barklage, and DiRaimondo probably have their spots locked up, which leaves Adams, Graye, and Rice to compete for the final spot.

I'm expecting a pretty quiet week from DC United in terms of roster changes, as it would be kind of brutal to give a player his walking papers while in Mexico.  But with Chad Ashton currently out scouting in Brazil, its entirely possible that a significant international signing could be announced in the near future.