In a normal year and with a normal schedule, D.C. United might run out some reserves for this match against the Philadelphia Union in the fourth round of the US Open Cup. However, a three week gap between league matches leads me to believe that Ben Olsen will want to keep his starters on form and run out all of them, save Dwayne De Rosario, for this match. Keeping the starters in a groove will hopefully keep their form up, especially for when league play returns once again.
The Philadelphia Union are suffering under the curse of the Nowak, with bizarre personnel decisions accompanied by poor form on the field. They haven't won a league match since April 21, and their US Open Cup win came against the Rochester Rhinos, who were beaten by the Richmond Kickers on Saturday in USL Pro play. Therefore, by the transitive property of the Open Cup, who should be better than the Union. With starters in the lineup, D.C. United should win this game and move forward to the quarterfinals.
The one player that I would not mind seeing would be Ethan White starting in place of Brandon McDonald. Not because White is better than McDonald, which he isn't right now, but because he needs time on the field to get back to and improve upon where he was last year. It would be nice if we could loan him to a lower division team, but our injury prone center backs make that impossible. Olsen wants to start him, wants to give him minutes, but I think the mindset going into this game will preclude that.
The rest of the lineup is fairly typical of United's starters over the past month or so, with the obvious absence of Dwayne De Rosario. With Branko Boskovic starting in the middle, he can hopefully pull off another Bodkinstock performance and make the front office's decision at the end of the month easy, if expensive. As for the subs for this game, I see Marcelo Saragosa, Lewis Neal, Josh Wolff, Joe Willis, Ethan White, Stephen King, and Chris Pontius.
What do you all see? Do you think Olsen will play it closer to the Kickers match, or closer to a full starting 11?