Somehow on a two game winning streak, D.C. United takes on the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference in the New England Revolution. United has definitely looked more lively since the introduction of several new players, including Paul Arriola and Russell Canouse. There is one more new signing who has yet to make his debut, so will Zoltan Stieber get his chance against the Revs?
The short answer is yes. Stieber has finally cleared all of his administrative hurdles and has been practicing with the team for a few weeks now. After making the bench against the Colorado Rapids, Stieber will start both for rotation reasons and because he needs to show that he is worth the investment from the team.
With a week off between games, I think that Paul Arriola will still get the start on the right side of midfield, and Luciano Acosta and Russell Canouse will start in central midfield. They all need to get more time together, and with a week off between games for the next month, they will be fine on rest. Ian Harkes will step back into his central midfield role, relegating both Jared Jeffrey and Marcelo Sarvas to the bench.
On the back line, Jalen Robinson and Kofi Opare will continue their partnership, but the real question is with the fullbacks. Nick DeLeon did not impress as a left fullback, and it looks like Ben Olsen wants to get him back onto the right side. I think that means that Chris Odoi-Atsem or Chris Korb will start there, and I lean towards giving Odoi-Atsem the experience.
Finally, the choice up top is between Patrick Mullins and Deshorn Brown. Neither have been impressive the last few months. Since Brown got that start against Colorado, I think that Mullins will get the start here; Brown’s speed off the bench will also be of use.
What do you want to see Ben Olsen do this weekend?