D.C. United will try and bounce back after an opening day loss when they take on newcomers Inter Miami. After D.C. United looked impressive in their final preseason game against the Philadelphia Union, building out of the back and possession soccer broke down against the press of the Colorado Rapids. This team will need to find its footing and its identity quickly to make sure that they don’t dig a big hole that they have to battle against the rest of the year.
After training in the 4-3-3 throughout the preseason, I would not think that Ben Olsen will be quick to give it up. And, with the personnel which D.C. United signed this offseason, it is the formation that makes the most sense (at least until the team signs some more fullbacks to free up Russell Canouse). The one tweak that has been on a bunch of people’s minds is the switch Edison Flores into the middle and move Julian Gressel out wide. If you look at the distribution maps for the first game, you can see that Flores did spend a bunch of time in the middle and Gressel did move out wide a fair amount; however, starting them in those positions and charging them with those positions could give them a different mindset in how the operate, interchange, and combine with other players.
The other big question is who will play left midfield if Ulises Segura is out (he is currently listed as questionable for Saturday with a groin injury). If he can’t, Yamil Asad is next in line, but we also don’t know if he can play a full 90 (or 70) minutes yet. Ben Olsen’s other option is Emmanuel Boateng, but I expect to see Asad start and Boateng replace him from the bench.
Even though I would like to see Russell Canouse pressing or replacing Felipe Martins in the center of midfield, until there are fullback options that are fully healthy, that won’t happen. I would love to see Oniel Fisher replace Felipe late in the game if the team needs a bump, and then press Canouse into the midfield.
What do you want to see Ben Olsen do on Saturday?