After pulling out an impossible late winner against Orlando City SC, D.C. United are back in it again today, facing the Portland Timbers in a mid-week home game. The game against the New England Revolution this Sunday is a game the team has to win over a team they’ll need to eek out to make the playoffs, so I think that Ben Olsen will give some starters a rest today.
I think Ben Olsen is going to rotate some players given that this game is both mid-week and against a Western Conference opponent, and that starts with the goalkeeper: Bill Hamid will get the start in goal, and probably would have regardless of David Ousted’s own goal. Hamid didn’t come here to sit on the bench, and so I expect to see him starting the rest of the season.
In a little more surprising move, I think that Olsen will also give the nod to Vytas to start against his old team. Orlando City were targeting Joseph Mora the entire game, and doing so very effectively, so getting Vytas onto the field and acclimated is necessary to try and shore up that position. Along the back line with Vytas, I expect Steven Birnbuam, Kofi Opare, and Oniel Fisher to start so that they can continue to build a rapport. Nick DeLeon is reportedly back at training, but he is a number of weeks away from even making the bench at this point.
In the midfield, I think Chris Durkin will get the start, giving Russell Canouse a break; Canouse is just recently back from injury, and we don’t want to risk him getting injured again through overuse. In front of him, I think that Paul Arriola and Luciano Acosta will start in the middle; Lucho could get a break in favor of Ian Harkes, but given his outburst on Sunday he’ll want to continue that streak. Out wide, Yamil Asad is just an ironman and Ulises Segura will spell Zoltan Stieber. Finally, Darren Mattocks will get the nod to manage Wayne Rooney’s minutes, though I am sure the captain will see significant time in the second half.
What do you want to see Ben Olsen do tonight?