Ben Olsen has a specific style when it comes to the US Open Cup, one that many other coaches throughout MLS follow as well: start as many reserve players as possible. Olsen takes it further than many, and has been willing to play people out of position in order to rest his regular starters. With a game on Saturday against Toronto FC, Olsen will surely stick to this plan as United takes on the last amateur team left in the Open Cup, Christos FC.
With Sean Franklin and Nick DeLeon still out, Chris Korb looks to be one of two current semi-regular starters to make the the lineup against Christos FC. Marcelo Sarvas is the other, but it looks like he may have been permanently displaced by Jared Jeffrey and Ian Harkes.
Two young players who will start this game will try and use the Open Cup to prove that they should get a chance in MLS. Chris Durkin should get some time to shine behind Marcelo and Julian Buescher. I still don’t think he’s a threat to start in Ben Olsen’s mind in MLS in the near future, but the Open Cup plus his recent tenure with the US U-17 national team could start making that case.
Alhaji Kamara has scored half of Richmond’s goals on the season (not a joke), and their goalscoring has been dire without him on the field. With Patrick Mullins out, Kamara could also be pushing for time, at least off of the bench; a couple of goals in the Open Cup could hasten his arrival.
The bench will be made up of starters, such as Bill Hamid, Kofi Opare, Taylor Kemp, Jose Ortiz, Patrick Nyarko, Lloyd Sam, and Jared Jeffrey. I think Steve Birnbaum will get the day completely off just to make sure he is good and healthy for the weekend.
What do you want to see Ben Olsen do tomorrow night?