After a midweek performance that was better than the scoreline indicated, United have to play their third game in 8 days when they take on the LA Galaxy at RFK Stadium tomorrow. Ben Olsen will have to try and find a way to get points over an up-and-down Galaxy team that is currently playing well, and has to do so playing their third game in 8 days.
On the back line, Ben Olsen now has some choices to make. On Wednesday, he rested Chris Korb, who had played 281 minutes between Richmond and D.C. after coming back from a year and a half injury. Chris Odoi-Atsem played well in his stead, both defensively and offensively. Taylor Kemp, however, has probably been United’s best defender so far this season. I think that Olsen may give Kemp a game off and play Korb on the left; Kemp’s two highest number of starts in a year is 30 and 25, so getting him some occasional rest will make sure he’s available all season. In the center, Steve Birnbaum and Kofi Opare seem likely to start together again, especially with Bobby Boswell battling a nagging groin injury.
With Jose Ortiz coming back from suspension, I expect him to start in the place of the injured Patrick Mullins. The main question is in the midfield, and it is whether Olsen stays with the 4-2-3-1 he started against Orlando or goes back to the 4-1-4-1 he has used for most of the last year.
It is a pretty easy question to answer, because the 4-1-4-1 has United’s two best central midfielders, Luciano Acosta and Ian Harkes, playing in their best spots. It also allows United to start two of their four wingers, who are now healthy and available for selection. I think Patrick Nyarko will start back on his customary left hand side and Sebastien LeToux will get the nod on the right over Lloyd Sam.
With this lineup, the bench would be Travis Worra, Taylor Kemp, Jalen Robinson, Lloyd Sam, Marcelo Sarvas, Lamar Neagle, and Julian Buescher. What do you want to see Ben Olsen do tomorrow night?