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My impressions of Barry Rice and the rest of the DC United Reserves

Barry Rice via <a href="">DC United on Flickr</a>
Barry Rice via DC United on Flickr

I stopped by RFK yesterday morning to catch a portion of the Reserves' 1-0 victory over the Northern Virginia Royals.  For the full match report, check out Behind The Badge, but for my quick impressions, read on. 

  • Jaime Moreno and Andy Najar work well together.  If United was going to score early in the match, it was going to come from one of them.  Which is more than I can say for Luciano Emilio, who wasn't largely involved in the match.
  • I haven't met a DC United fan yet this year who doesn't think we need a central attacking midfielder.  Well the only player on our roster who would list CAM as his best position is Stephen King.  So does that mean King should earn his first start for us this week?  Probably not.  The Auxiliary Field appears to be more narrow than the field inside RFK, and the Royals did well to clog up the middle.  So King had a couple things working against him, but he still didn't stand out to me.
  • The players that did stand out to me though were our two central defenders.  Julius James and Barry Rice did well to make sure that Perkins was never really challenged.  Rice in particular has impressed me every time I've seen him play.  Dude is solid as a rock.  Maybe not this year, and maybe not for this team, but I do think Barry Rice has a future as a starter in MLS.  United could have a difficult decision to make in July when Marc Burch returns and when the team will likely be adding more international players.  The guy who might be worried is Devon McTavish.
  • I often wrote last year that Boyzzz Khumalo is at his best when coming off the bench to use his speed against fatigued opponents.  That seemed to be true here.
  • Lastly, there was a point when Simms, Pena, Wallace, and Hamid walked past the bleachers in the first half.  Bill Hamid is freaking huge in person!