Monday, March 24, 2008

An early test of United's depth

3/29/08 at Kansas City
4/1/08 at Pachuca (Mex)
4/5/08 vs Toronto
4/9/08 vs Pachuca
4/12/08 at Real Salt Lake
4/17/08 vs Columbus

It all starts this week! With all of the competitions and tournaments that United is playing in this year, we knew this would happen eventually. I was just hoping it wouldn't be this soon!

Some have proposed just sending a "B" team to KC so our starting XI will be fresh to travel to Pachuca. While I would have no problem sacrificing the Supporters' Shield if it meant winning the Champions' Cup, resting ALL of our starters seems a bit unrealistic. Still, no player should play in every one of these matches. And I think we can even get by while trying to have no player start more than 4 out of these 6 matches.

Although there are some signs that Jaime Moreno might be back and healthy soon, and Jeff Curtin could possibly join the club soon too, I'm just going to assume that they are both out, along with Olsen and of course Jeff Carroll.

Hopefully most of you agree with me that the "C-Cup" has got to be the top priority. (The C-Cup! Haha! This is just like that time in guitar class when I couldn't keep a straight face any time the teacher said "G-String.") We definitely need to start McTavish and Emilio in both of the Pachuca matches because they are C-Cup gods! Anyway, as a free service to Tommy Soehn, here are the lineups that we here at DCUMD would use in the upcoming matches:

at KC: Wells, Namoff, McTavish, Peralta, Burch, Quaranta, Simms, Gallardo, Moose, Emilio, Kpene

at Pachuca: Wells, Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, Burch, McTavish, Simms, Gallardo, Fred, Emilio, Niell

vs TFC: Carvallo, Kirk, Martinez, Carroll, Cordeiro, Moose, Stratford, Gallardo, Mediate, Quaranta, Niell

vs Pachuca: Wells, Namoff, Martinez, Peralta, Burch, McTavish, Simms, Gallardo, Fred, Emilio, Niell

at RSL: Carvallo, Namoff, Carroll, Peralta, Burch, Quaranta, Simms, Dyachenko, Fred, Emilio, Kpene

vs Columbus: Wells, Kirk, Martinez, Carroll, McTavish, Mediate, Stratford, Gallardo, Fred, Quaranta, Niell

Alright, I failed a little bit because I've got Gallardo starting in five games, but he's (temporarily) our captain! I also think the team should showcase Gallardo in the opening match, the home opener, and the ESPN2 game against Columbus, so he doesn't get to rest. What's really cool though is that I've got McTavish playing in three different locations in four games. Not that I think Soehn will actually use these lineups, but it's just a testament to the depth and flexibility that we do have this year, and hopefully this will provide a bit of relief to some worry warts. I guess my only concern is that some of the reserves aren't quite ready for this kind of test.

Some would say that many of the moves this offseason were specifically made to prepare the team for stretches like this. But man do I miss Benny and Jaime right now...

2 comments:

Catherine-Lucia said...

I'm not sure if I would use Kirk, even against TFC & Columbus. He's a bit haphazard in play, a hit-or-miss kind of kid...not sure if we'd want to play him.

I agree with pretty much everything else though. Might want to use Rod a bit more, you've got Stratford twice but Rod only once, and he's better than I thought he was, actually...

I think we've got a shot at the Supporters' Shield but it's not likely. I'm sort of hoping it goes to Chivas USA if anyone other than DC. The CHAMPIONS' Cup I think we can so do. We've got this. Totally. But the MLS championship? Too early to tell. Domestic will be harder than international this year, I think, so we ought to play at our fullest in the Champions' Cup matches and the like.

Catherine-Lucia said...

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/
soccerinsider/2008/03
/murphy_cezar_kpene.html

I never got to teach "baby Drogba" how to score, and now he's gone!

:(