Happy Wednesday, boys and girls! It is time for another installment if your favorite midweek prediction game, the D.C. United lineup! This is the last home game until August, so if at all possible I encourage you to fill RFK to the brim. Also, I think that there will be a few players ready to take out their anger on the Montreal Impact.
After the previous game, against the New York Red Bulls, many pundits have been calling for Branko Boskovic to start this weekend. To them I say this: welcome to the bandwagon! As we on this site, both writers and commenters, have often said, Boskovic brings something that no one else on this team does; no where was that more evident than in the final 20 minutes against New York. A team that had frantic and completely out possessed was finally able to string together some attacks. If not for a few offside calls (including one that was mysteriously never replayed), United may very well have been able to claw a point back.
After Boskovic, the rest of United's attacking lineup falls into place rather quickly. Danny Cruz's energy was a breath of fresh air, and it looks like his crossing may have improved as well. If the scientists in United Labs were able to combine Cruz and Andy Najar, we would have a super-player on our hands; as it is, I still give the nod to Cruz for this week.
Some have said that they would want to see Chris Pontius back on the wing in place of Nick DeLeon; for me, Pontius is now a forward and a forward only, much like how Perry Kitchen is a defensive midfielder only. Sure, Pontius could shift out there for the last 20 minutes of a game or if United are crippled by injuries, but barring that I only want to see him up top.
Finally, there is the back line. For the first time since he has arrived, Brandon McDonald seems closer to the bench than Dejan Jakovic. If Emiliano Dudar were performing at the same level as he showed at the beginning of this year, I think he would have already passed BMac. However, rumor has it that he is a step behind both of these two in training, and so we will see the same pairing. Last game I noticed Jakovic waving his arms at McDonald to keep the ball on the ground; hopefully he keeps that in mind against Montreal.
With this lineup, I see the subs as Joe Willis, Hamdi Salihi, Andy Najar, Lewis Neal, Marcelo Saragosa, Emiliano Dudar, and Maicon Santos. What do you all see happening this Saturday?