D.C. United takes on Real Salt Lake tomorrow in the second game at Audi Field this season. After playing on the farce of a field that is Yankee Stadium and looking somewhat disjointed, the team will look to get back on their groove in Southwest DC. So far, Ben Olsen has run out the same lineup in both games, but will he do it a third time in a row?
The short answer is yes. The only possible question for the lineup is on the left wing, where Titi Rodriguez has started both games so far, but where Zoltan Stieber and Ulises Segura also play. Segura seems to fit well into the first sub off the bench role that Ben Olsen currently has him in; his fitness and physicality are great to introduce in the 70th minute or so, especially if you’re trying to wear down the opposing team in the final minutes. I think that Rodriguez still has the edge of Stieber, especially since he played better at home than he did at Yankee Stadium, so we will see him there again on Saturday.
The rest of the lineup just slots right in. The back line of Leo Jara, Steven Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, and Joseph Mora has been solid and does not currently require any changes; Jara has been a welcome addition to the group, and his passing will continue to unlock defenses especially as his teammates learn to anticipate him. The rest of the midfield, with Russell Canouse and Junior Moreno supporting Luciano Acosta and Paul Arriola, is one of the best starting groups in the league right now, and Wayne Rooney helps free them up to do what they need to do.
The big questions will be once the games start coming fast and frequent, but for the foreseeable future I don’t see many changes to this group.