D.C. United takes on the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, and after a slew of changes on Wednesday Ben Olsen will have to continue to manage his roster. Chris Durkin is now added to the group of players that is not available, as he has departed for the U-20 World Cup camp. But after resting many of his regular starters (for at least the first half) of the the game against Toronto FC, we should have close to a full-strength team for Saturday.
The main question is in defensive midfield, where Chris Durkin has left to report to national team camp. Junior Moreno missed the Wednesday game in Toronto because his father passed away; I do not know if he will be back in time for this game. If not, Chris McCann will take his spot next to Russell Canouse, re-joining the midfield as he did against Toronto.
The back line will be Steven Birnbaum and Frederic Brillant, with Leo Jara and Marquinhos Pedroso flanking them. Center backs don’t do the same amount of running as midfielders and strikers, but if Brillant needs a break we could see Jalen Robinson get the start (I don’t expect it though). The attacking quartet of Wayne Rooney, Lucas Rodriguez, Luciano Acosta, and Paul Arriola will return to the field.
Given the absences and injuries, we will see a number of players who have spent time at Loudoun United on D.C. United’s bench. I think we’ll see Chris Seitz, Jalen Robinson, Ulises Segura, Akeem Ward, Zoltan Stieber, Quincy Amarikwa, and Chris Odoi-Atsem. It is particularly sweet to see Odoi-Atsem come back from his battle with cancer, and I hope that he gets to see some of the field soon.
What do you want to see Ben Olsen do this weekend?