Coming off their second win of the season, D.C. United will travel to Chicago this weekend to try and start a streak against the Fire. United will have to do so without their highest paid player, Fabian Espindola, who injured himself taking a long-range shot last week. The replacements did well, but it leads to a plethora of options after a couple weeks where Ben Olsen stuck with the same group.
The main focus is on the forward pairing, with two of Chris Rolfe, Alvaro Saborio, and Luciano Acosta set to start. I don't really think that Rolfe and Acosta is a pairing that would work, so let's take that one off the board. The pairing of Acosta and Saborio, reprising their second half theatrics against New England, is tempting: give Saborio the first hour, and then you can move Lamar Neagle to the front line to pair Acosta after he gives way. This would be my preference, but I think Olsen is more likely to go with something else.
My brain tells me that Olsen will start Rolfe and Saborio together, leaving Luciano Acosta to come on for Rolfe late; Lamar Neagle is also likely to move to forward for Saborio when his time comes, reprising the forward pairing from the start of the year.
The other position for which there is a question is central midfield, with Marcelo Sarvas suspended again, this time for yellow card accumulation. Jared Jeffrey is the natural replacement, and the most likely to slot in. Markus Halsti has only recently started full training with the team, and Olsen said that he is considering Jeffrey, Rob Vincent, and Julian Buescher for the role of replacing Sarvas.
The back line will remain the same, with Sean Franklin, Steve Birnbaum, Bobby Boswell, and Taylor Kemp lining up in front of Travis Worra. What do you want to see Ben Olsen do on Saturday?