D.C. United takes its first and only road trip to New York City this Sunday, going to Yankee Stadium to face off against New York City FC. The Pigeons have a couple of names that you definitely know: Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, and Ethan White, plus a number of lesser known players that they’re trying to work into a coherent whole. Patrick Vieira did a pretty good job of it in his first season in charge of the team, but is working to rejigger everything yet again for his second season.
Ben Olsen is likely to run out the exact same lineup as he did in the first game against Sporting Kansas City, unless Luciano Acosta has become magically healthy and 90-minutes fit. I hope that he might make the bench for this game, but I don’t see any way that he starts; that means, of course, that Julian Buescher will be back in the starting lineup.
I don’t think that there is much way that the front six could play worse than they did against the Sporks, and its not like they even played that badly. Marcelo Sarvas should be able to rebound, as should Lloyd Sam. Jared Jeffrey knows he has to play well to hold off Ian Harkes, and Patrick Nyarko and Patrick Mullins are pretty close. This group was clicking on all cylinders down the stretch last season, and I think its only time before they get going again.
The defense played even better than I expected, so I don’t see any changes in that back line. Nick DeLeon gets better with every passing game and Sean Franklin showed why he was Ben Olsen’s choice to partner with Steve Birnbaum. Taylor Kemp had a sub-par game offensively, but his defense has remained solid for a good long while. Bill Hamid is Bill Hamid, of course.
With this lineup, I think the bench will be Travis Worra, Bobby Boswell, Maxim Tissot, Sebastian LeToux, Ian Harkes, Lamar Neagle, and Jose Ortiz. What do you want to see Ben Olsen do on Sunday?