D.C. United has one point after the first game of the season, and for their second game heads down to Georgia to face off against Atlanta United. D.C. got over 28% of their total points in the 2017 season off of Atlanta, and will be motivated to keep that streak going and build a good foundation to this season. Due to knocks and recent signings, Ben Olsen doesn’t have too many decisions to make, but there is one right in the middle of the field.
Olsen will have to decide what to do with the attacking midfield now that Luciano Acosta is back from suspension. Slotting him back into the middle to deploy an attacking midfield of Acosta flanked by Paul Arriola and Yamil Asad seems the most likely to me. It saves Zoltan Stieber for a second-half sub role, and allows him to swing in dangerous free kicks when the defense has been run-down by the AAA offense.
Junior Moreno and Ulises Segura are still likely to start behind Acosta in central midfield, and they played well together in the first half. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing Moreno and Chris Durkin; in the second half of the game against Orlando City, the central midfield was less than the sum of its parts, and so some tweaks may be necessary.
Joseph Mora is certainly a candidate to start this week at left back, as he is in midseason form and just came off of games in the Concacaf Champions League. I think Ben Olsen will give him one more week to integrate into the team before starting him, so the back line will again feature Oniel Fisher, Steve Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, and Nick DeLeon. Once Mora is up-to-speed, that will increase competition for both fullback spots: if Fisher loses out to Mora, he will be pushing DeLeon at right back as well.
With this lineup, the bench will be Steve Clark, Kofi Opare, Joseph Mora, Ian Harkes, Chris Durkin, Patrick Mullins, and Zoltan Stieber. What do you want to see Ben Olsen do on Sunday?