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D.C. United versus Montreal Impact lineup: Where to put Paul Arriola?

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He will definitely start, but where?

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

D.C. United takes one of their last 4 roads trips of the year this weekend when they go to Montreal to take on the Impact. As we mentioned on this week’s Filibuster, D.C. United will likely have to pass the Montreal Impact in order to get into the playoffs, so this game and the game at Audi Field will be key to realizing any possibility of getting to postseason.

Ben Olsen made two changes to his starting lineup from the previous game, one forced and one coach’s decision: Paul Arriola was suspended, and so Russell Canouse made his first start of the season, while Olsen decided to start Kofi Opare instead of Frederic Brillant for his first start as well. Other than the botched exchange with Oniel Fisher that lead to Kellyn Acosta’s goal, Opare played well and deserves another chance alongside Steve Birnbaum.

Until D.C. United improves at fullback, it will still likely be Joseph Mora and Oniel Fisher; out of the other options that Ben Olsen floated this week, I would only want Jalen Robinson to start at fullback. Neither Paul Arriola nor Russell Canouse interest me as fullbacks, since they are much better utilized elsewhere.

Speaking of him, Russell Canouse played very well too, but his positioning will be determined by what Ben Olsen wants to do with Paul Arriola. My preference would to see Russell Canouse as the defensive midfielder and Arriola as the central midfielder, given how that reflects on the rest of the midfield. However, if Canouse is playing further forward and Arriola is playing out wide to spell someone, I’d like to see Chris Durkin back there over Junior Moreno.

With Canouse at defensive midfield, the rest of the midfield plays out as expected: Zoltan Stieber and Yamil Asad out wide, Luciano Acosta and the aforementioned Arriola in the middle. With a week of rest for his broken nose, Wayne Rooney has to start up top; as we got into in depth on Filibuster, the team is completely different with him on the field.

What do you want to see Ben Olsen do this weekend?