D.C. United opened their preseason schedule today, playing two thirty minute halves against the US U-17 men’s national team, which sits in residency at Bradenton. United won the game 6-0, which is appropriate for a game pitting full professionals against 16 year olds. The game was not streamed, so there won’t be highlights, but we do have all of the tweets coalated below. There are a few nuggets we can glean, mostly from the lineups used in this first match.
#DCU line-up:— D.C. United (@dcunited) February 1, 2017
Worra; Franklin, Robinson, Boswell, DeLeon; Vincent, Sam, Harkes, Acosta, Neagle, Mullins
The team that started the game was mostly the available starters or their appropriate backups. Of note, Jalen Robinson suited up next to Bobby Boswell ahead of Kofi Opare, Nick DeLeon started at left back, Ian Harkes played as the middle of the three midfielders ahead of Rob Vincent and next to Luciano Acosta, and Lamar Neagle started in front of Patrick Nyarko. I still think that Nyarko is more than likely to start the season ahead of Neagle, and if Neagle can push ahead that means very good things for the team.
By the end of last season, Robinson had pushed ahead of Opare as the third center back, and this continues that trend. Ian Harkes has a definite shot to push someone out of the lineup on opening day, and he apparently showed some nice passing skills.
The second half gave us a first look at which trialists might be ahead of others.
Coming on for #DCU in the second:— D.C. United (@dcunited) February 1, 2017
Klenofsky; Odio-Atsem, Durkin, Opare, Tissot; Marcelo, Le Toux, Jeffrey, Büscher, Nyarko; Ortiz
Eric Klenofsky got the nod in the second half over Charlie Horton and Matt Sanchez. He was highly rated coming out of college, has a huge wingspan, and is quick, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he made the team as the third keeper.
Chris Durkin can play center back, as he did here with Kofi Opare, but I think his best position is still defensive midfield. Maxim Tissot got time at left back in the second half ahead of Suli Dainkeh, and I think he has the edge to make the team.
The next preseason game is also behind closed doors and most likely won’t be streamed: United will take on the Philadelphia Union on Saturday morning