D.C. United take on the Pigeons of New York City FC this weekend, and it is during an international break due to the fact that United needs to make up all the time they lost at the beginning of the season. They will try and beat one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference without a number of players, due to those international callups and due to injuries; because of all of that, they might not even be able to put together a full 18 man roster. But who will actually take the field?
On the back line, D.C. United are mostly healthy and present, so Bill Hamid, Steven Birnbaum, Kofi Opare, and Joseph Mora will all start. But with Vytas, Taylor Kemp, and Nick DeLeon all injured, and emergency fullback Paul Arriola with the national team, there is a problem at right back. Jalen Robinson and Frederic Brillant are the options left, and either could start in the middle; Ben Olsen has moved Steven Birnbaum to right back in emergencies before. However, with Steve Goff saying that D.C. United has signed Kevin Ellis, late of the Chicago Fire, I think that Ellis may jump right into the starting lineup so as not to disrupt the central defensive partnership. (Update: the signing of Ellis is now official)
In front of them will be Russell Canouse and Chris Durkin, who will slide into the midfield in the absence of Junior Moreno. The attacking midfield will be made up of Dane Kelly, subbing in for the absent Zoltan Stieber, Luciano Acosta, and Ulises Segura, and Wayne Rooney will start up top.
With this lineup, the bench will be Travis Worra, Jalen Robinson, Frederic Brillant, Ian Harkes, Jared Jeffrey, and two blank spot. What do you want to see Ben Olsen do this weekend?