D.C. United is now in the middle of three games in seven days, a stretch that would normally presage some serious rotation in Ben Olsen’s lineup. I think there will be less rotation than normal, for two reasons: the first is that, due to injuries, there isn’t as much that Olsen can do with his lineup; the second is that there is an international break right after United’s match against Toronto FC, so there will be two weeks between games after this three in seven stretch. But first is the more winnable of the two games, the home match against Columbus Crew SC. Will Ben Olsen make significant changes from the team that beat Orlando City?
In a word, no. Olsen will run out his first choice unit to try and secure maximum points against a beatable opponent. The main variable will be the replacement of Marcelo Sarvas, who is out for two to four weeks with the knee injury that he suffered against Orlando. Some have suggested (or assumed) that Nick DeLeon will go back into the middle alongside Rob Vincent and Luciano Acosta; I think that the choice should be the same that Olsen made in real time: Julian Buescher. This choice maximizes both positions, as it leaves Buescher in his natural position, keeps DeLeon in a position in which he played fairly well (and got better throughout the game), and keeps Luke Mishu on the bench.
With this lineup, the first two subs should be fairly easy to predict, as they should be the first two choices off the bench if Olsen chooses to do some lineup rotation in this game or the next: Lamar Neagle and Kennedy Igboananike. Alongside them on the bench will be Travis Worra, Luke Mishu, Jalen Robinson, Alvaro Saborio, and the return to the bench of Collin Martin.
Do you think Ben Olsen needs to rotate his lineup midweek? On the weekend? Or not at all?