After a disappointing game against the Chicago Fire, D.C. United will try and regroup against Chris Wondolowski and the Sane Jose Earthquakes. Following the loss to the Chicago Fire, it seems like the team has realized that their playoff hopes are truly done and dusted. Ben Olsen told the Washington Post yesterday that they want to try some younger players down the stretch; but given that Chris Durkin will be in India for most, if not all, of the rest of the year, who will start for United?
The key, over everything, is building for the future. That means no Marcelo Sarvas. That probably means no Sean Franklin. And it means focusing on youth and potential. So, on the back line, that means starting Jalen Robinson and that also means that one of Steve Birnbaum or Kofi Opare will have to sit. I think it is harsh on Opare’s performances this season to bench him, but we all know that Steve Birnbaum is not as bad as he has been this year. Robinson has also never partnered Birnbaum in MLS, so giving them a shot together makes sense.
The fullback situation is easier to play out: Taylor Kemp is out for the rest of the season and Chris Odoi-Atsem is a lock to start at right back. Utility man Nick DeLeon will get the start at left back over Chris Korb.
Ian Harkes came back and was rusty against the Chicago Fire, which is understandable with how long he was out. He will get the start again tomorrow, along with his midfield partners of Russell Canouse and Luciano Acosta. That is very possibly the starting midfield for next season, so giving them as much time to acclimate to each other is vital. Flanking them are key signings Paul Arriola and Zoltan Stieber.
The main problem at forward is a problem of injury and a lack of depth. Bruno Miranda should be playing as many minutes at forward as he is physically able to do, so I think that he will start over the ice-cold Patrick Mullins and Deshorn Brown.
What do you want to see Ben Olsen do on Saturday?