After what seems like an eternity, it is finally time for the fans to turn our attention to the next game, this Saturday, in which D.C. United play against the Houston Dynamo. While it is always great to throw the Metros down the well, the team now faces an opponent that will not just quit and will not give the bare minimum of defensive effort. The Dyanmo are a tough, defensively sound team and, especially if Brad Davis is available, are dangerous in the attack as well.
However, this game would also seem to be the easiest one so far for which to predict the lineup. In fact, it is the first time so far that I have completely agreed with the fans predicted lineup from dcunited.com. Let me give you a hint: it will be exactly the same as the game against New York.
I know that a lot has been said about the fact that United has players who expected to be starters on the bench, but frankly, I don't care. A big deal is being made of it because it happens to be two designated players (well, really one and a half, since everyone can agree that Branko Boskovic will not be a DP after June, whether he is here or not) as well as two members of their respective national teams. But by all accounts, Ben Olsen is handling this well, and all of the players involved seem to be saying the right things. With the way that the Santino Quaranta and Clyde Simms situations were handled, I was a little worried about Olsen's man management style; however, he seems to be doing just fine in season.
The one place where I am worried about depth is at center back, with Dejan Jakovic still not practicing. However, it is good to hear that Ethan White is back training; he is probably still a few weeks away from being able to make the bench, but hopefully he can be a solid backup option when (not if) Jakovic gets injured again and throughout the Open Cup.
As for the subs, I see Bill Hamid, Branko Boskovic, Hamdi Salihi, Stephen King, Lewis Neal, Chris Korb and Andy Najar. What say you all? Easiest week yet to pick the squad, or do you see Olsen continuing to tinker?