We are halfway through D.C. United’s preseason, and the games start back up again this weekend. United has played three preseason games so far, and has done so against the US U-17 team, the Philadelphia Union, and Jönköpings Södra.
If you’d like the direct link to view the minutes tracker, click here.
My takeaways so far:
- Nick DeLeon has not played a minute of midfielder, with central or wide, in this preseason so far. I still expect to see him get minutes there throughout the year, but his primary role seems to be as a fullback. As expected, he has primarily played on the right, but also got 30 minutes on the left.
- The Sean Franklin at center back experiment is a go, at least for the preseason. He has appeared there twice and partnered with Steve Birnbaum in the game against J-Sodra. Franklin would definitely provide a more athletic presence than Bobby Boswell as well as a better passer, but Boswell’s craftiness and experience are valuable assets.
- Ian Harkes and Jared Jeffrey seem neck-and-neck for the central midfield spot between Marcelo and Luciano Acosta. Harkes has the edge in starts, but they are identical in minutes played. The upcoming Suncoast Invitational will give these two a chance to grab the starting spot.
- Jose Ortiz is primarily a striker, getting almost the same amount of time as Patrick Mullins and scoring while doing so. He has gotten some stints on the wing, but the brief time spent there plus the addition of Sebastien LeToux makes it look like his appearances here will be brief. Mullins has gotten all of the starts so far and is still the number one striker, but if he can continue this Ortiz will push Mullins to be at his best every game.
- As if it weren’t already clear from the reporting surrounding him, Maxim Tissot is the only trialist to have gotten any minutes in the first stage of preseason and a contract seems likely.
The next round of preseason starts tomorrow, with United taking on the Montreal Impact at Al Lang Stadium. The battle for roster spots seems all but over, but the battle for starting spots will continue until March 4. Let us know in the comments what has caught your eye!