Thursday, March 27, 2008

Projected Starting Lineups: D.C. United

Projected Starting Lineup:







Off the Bench: GK Jose Carvallo, MF Daniel Stratford, MF/FW Quavas Kirk, FW Rod Dyachenko, MF/FW Santino Quaranta, MF Domenic Mediate, FW Franco Neill

Jaime Moreno will be out for the first couple weeks of the season. Ben Olsen will be out injured at least a month. Luckily, DC is deep in both of those areas. What happens if Peralta or Martinez is hurt? Jeff Curtin in the back? Push Clyde Simms or Devon McTavish back?

United's season hinges on three things - 1. Emilio repeating last year or receiving enough help elsewhere to support him 2. Gallardo's efficiency and his comparison to Christian Gomez 3. defensive depth. Right now, number one will happen. Two, Gallardo is a question mark still but Franco Neill, Peralta, and Martinez have already proven that they can play to United's standards. If you're going on Gallardo's track record then clearly he's a more effective player than Gomez. Gomez, however, understood the MLS, had adjusted to its pace and physical nature. Gallardo has to still want to learn, adapt, and dominate...not just retire. Also add Fred in his second year to that mix. Three, that depth in the back scares me - as I've said before - but both Peralta and Martinez seem like durable guys, right?

Zach Wells must be loving his chance at starting keeper. It's his job to lose. Unfortunately, Wells has kept us from getting a glimpse at DC's other acquisition, Peruvian Jose Carvallo. I would expect Wells to have that great year that every one knew he would had if he got his chance. United fans could even forget Troy Perkins' name after a while.

The CONCACAF Champions Cup defeat of Harbour View allowed us, just like Justin Moose last year's competition, to get bullish on yet another aggressive midfielder. Devon McTavish, however, not only impressed us with his work rate, but he also scored his first goal since college, eventually ending up with three overall. Not bad. McTavish along with the continued progress of Marc Burch could be the glue to this line-up. If they have 11 trusty players and can avoid having an Erpen-like player on the field, United could run away with Eastern Conference. If it weren't for Angel, Reyna, and Altidore in New York, Joseph, Reis, and Twellman in New England, and Lopez, Marinelli, and Conrad in Kansas City, DC would run away with it. A narrow conference win will have to do.

Outlook: 1st in the Eastern Conference.

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