D.C. United is back in action this afternoon, taking on St. Louis FC of the USL in their second match of the Suncoast Invitational. United showed some good signs during their 4-2 loss to the Montreal Impact, even if the score line itself doesn’t reflect that; they will look to build on that and try and put together a complete performance as they ramp up for the season. St. Louis FC are coached by former Chivas USA, Toronto FC, and Sacramento Republic manager Preki.
The key for this game is to look at the changes, if any, Ben Olsen makes to his starting lineup. If it is the same group as against the Montreal Impact, that would seem to be an indicator that those are the likely starters on March 4 (which most of them already obviously are). A start by Bobby Boswell or Ian Harkes would indicate that Olsen is still taking a look at various options.
Key player: Sean Franklin
D.C. United’s normally rock-solid defense has been more fluid through the end of last season and now into this preseason. To try and address that and to keep him on the field, Ben Olsen has decided to move Sean Franklin from right back to center back. Franklin hasn’t played that position with any regularity since his rookie season for the LA Galaxy, and early results have been mixed.
The appeal is there in theory: it would give United an athletic pairing that could go up against anyone in the league. It will take the rest of preseason to see how effective it will be in reality.
Location: Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex (Clearwater, FL)
Kick-off time: 4:00pm Eastern
Available TV: None
Available streaming: The game will be streamed on DCUnited.com
; we will update this with the link when it is available.
Treat this as the gamethread for tonight’s game.