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GameThread 33: D.C. United Vs. Portland Timbers

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If you’re wondering if this might be an important match for D.C. United, the answer is yes. This is a fairly important match.

Actually, this match is everything. This match is the season. With a win tonight over the Portland Timbers, who happen to be two points ahead of us in the overall standings, United would stay alive in the playoff hunt. We’ll still need to sit back and perform the otherwise revolting task of rooting for the Philadelphia Union tomorrow night, but we’ll be safe for at least one more day.

Game time: 8:00 PM (If you come here at 7:30 because that’s when United ALWAYS plays, the joke’s on you.)

Television: Comcast SportsNet

Projected Starting Lineup: The lineup used against the Chicago Fire on Saturday night was probably what Ben Olsen currently considers to be his best (healthiest) 11. With two vital matches in a four-day period, he’s going to have to employ some sort of rotation. What will that entail? Well I have a hard time imagining Josh Wolff’s aging legs starting every single match during this stretch, so I think its about time that Olsen plays the wild card of re-inserting Charlie Davies into the starting lineup.

The Davies vs. Wolff argument is far less relevant though than the question of whether or not Dwayne De Rosario can hold up physically through this compressed schedule of matches. I think he will, and he should start again at forward tonight.

The midfield may see fewer changes, but after he earned the lone goal for D.C. in each of the last two matches, Olsen can’t possibly continue to leave Santino Quaranta on his bench at the start of each match, can he? Quaranta has served his role of supersub well the last week, but I think we may see him ahead of Austin da Luz tonight. The rest of midfield remains unchanged in my mind, with Clyde Simms and Stephen King clogging the middle, and Andy Najar on the right.

The backline could see the all-important return of Canadian international Dejan Jakovic, who has been upgraded to probable for the match tonight. Including Jakovic in the starting lineup will allow Perry Kitchen to slide back to the right, where he’s a more reliable defensive option than Chris Korb. Brandon McDonald will occupy the other central spot and Daniel Woolard will start on the right. Bill Hamid will be in net.

This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion. Let’s make this a negativity free zone for at least a little while. United isn’t done yet, and as a fan base, we shouldn’t be either.