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D.C. United versus Chicago Fire lineup: Growing together

The chips are falling into place

MLS: Montreal Impact at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

D.C. United takes on the Chicago Fire this Sunday at 1PM, and every game at home is a must-win for the team at this point. After not having won a game in either July or August, the Fire have put together a fair series of results since then. And a team with Djordie Mihailovic and Bastian Schweinsteiger always has to be taken seriously, even if they are already eliminated from contention for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

The front four for D.C. United has been locked down and should be fairly obvious to anyone who has watched the team in the past two months: Wayne Rooney, Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola, and Yamil Asad. Since he has returned from injury, Russell Canouse has been a similar fixture in D.C. United’s starting XI. He has a good compliment in Junior Moreno, whose ability to clog lanes combines well with Canouse’s tackling and passing ability.

The back line has been a revolving carousel of characters all year long, and this week is no different. Steven Birnbaum has been the rock of the back line, despite partners changing back and fourth throughout the year. Frederic Brillant started the season next to Birnbaum, and due to Kofi Opare’s injury, it looks like Brillant will be there again on Sunday.

Joseph Mora has grown into the role of starting left back for this team, and has been able to hold off the recently acquired Vytas (though he has joined the ranks of the injured as well). With Oniel Fisher injuring almost every ligament in his knee and Nick DeLeon not yet fully back from his injury, a deputized right back will be in order. Kevin Ellis subbed in last week for Fisher, and looks likely to beat out Jalen Robinson to start this weekend as he has spent more time as a right back on a regular basis. Obviously, Bill Hamid will start in goal.

The group is falling into place, but what do you want to see Ben Olsen do this Sunday?