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United's Lineup Options

United's regulars were given the day off -- it's been a busy couple weeks -- so I do not have a training report for you today. Sorry. I'll be back out there tomorrow before the team departs for New England.

In the meantime, let's speculate on the starting lineup. Fred is out because of a red card in the last league match (at New York), Moose remains out and I am guessing Vanney will not travel. Namoff and Kpene are available, and Gros has the flexibility to play in the back on in midfield. Dyachenko was yanked in the first half Wednesday and Addlery did not make that trip. Moreno seems be at full strength. Sooooo........

How about Perkins in goal, Boswell and McTavish in the middle, Namoff and Burch on the corners, Gros, Carroll, Gomez and Olsen in midfield, and Moreno and Emilio up top. That leaves Kpene, Simms, Dyachenko and Mediate as the top reserves.

Thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  August 3, 2007; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Comments

I know DC needs to get at least a point out of this game. And I like the lineup that Goff put out.

But somehow I think some players might need a game to recover - mainly Carroll or Olsen.

Maybe start with Mediate on the wing and let Olsen slide into the center, or have Simms start in the center with Olsen on the wing.

Also, with Emilio playing lots of minutes (and missing some pretty decent chances while he was on the pitch), I might be inclined to give Kpene the start (seems to play well with Moreno) and let Emilio sub in the second half.

This is all depending on what level of fatigue these guys are at. I think you have to stick with Perkins, the same back 4 and Moreno/Gomez.

Posted by: the cheat | August 3, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

looks like a lineup to me

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

So about how far away are we from seeing Moose again?

Posted by: B.A. | August 3, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Burch is becoming a pretty decent defender. I would love to see more crosses from him because they look spot on when he launches them.

Posted by: J | August 3, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What's up with Vanney?

Otherwise your line up looks about right. Our bench options are limited.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Can't put my finger on it, but that lineup is missing something... ...Hmmm, where do you put the new DP we signed? Ohhhhhh, right we haven't and we're not going to. Oh well, there's always next year.

Posted by: DCAustinite | August 3, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

For all the missing players, that's actually a damn fine lineup. My first choice back four now.

Still, why does Carroll keep getting so many chances? Simms now.

Posted by: Goose | August 3, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Other than no Fred, I think that's about the best lineup we can put out there...

Posted by: Robert | August 3, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"I'll be back out there tomorrow before the team departs for New England."

they're not leaving for NE until the day of the game? a 4pm game at that?

Posted by: pat | August 3, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The game is Sunday afternoon......

Posted by: marksman | August 3, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

oh nice! now i don't have to worry about being busy tomorrow!

Posted by: pat | August 3, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Better question who will play first Vanney or Beckham?

At least Erpen could play.

Posted by: Bench it like Vanney | August 3, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine a McBride or a Ching on the end of those crosses?

""I would love to see more crosses from him because they look spot on when he launches them.""

Posted by: d | August 3, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why everyone seems to miss Erpen so much now that he's gone? Everyone was constantly killing him while he's here ...

Look, DCU thought that Vanney would help solidify the back line for the rest of this year and had no intentions of keeping Erpen on the roster as a senior international player next year. Maybe Vanney hasn't contributed much, but Erpen was in his last year with the team no matter what. DCU front office tried to make an upgrade and so far it hasn't worked out. But, McTavish and Burch have stepped up, which is fortunate.

Posted by: tmc | August 3, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

My question....People may be upset that they paid money (maybe more than they should) to see Beckham play at DCU.

Why are they not upset that they are paying to see this kind of DCU lineup? Is this team an upgrade to last year?

Is this all we have to expect from DCU lineups and the MLS in general for years to come?

I think we have to expect/demand (through ticket purchase or not purchase) more from our team and league.

KC

Posted by: Keith C | August 3, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

How many lineups has Soehn been forced to use this year? Just seems like at least multiple players aren't available each week. I can't imagine being the coach and having to worry each week about which players will be available.

Posted by: Bart | August 3, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

the cheat said, "I might be inclined to give Kpene the start (seems to play well with Moreno) and let Emilio sub in the second half."

Moreno hasn't played a full 90 in quite a while, and neither has Kpene. Most likely Emilio and Moreno start, and Kpene subs in for whoever is more gassed/ineffective at the 65 min. mark. Back four are pretty safe bets, leaving the midfield as the question mark. I'll go with Goff's lineup, but wouldn't be suprised to see Carroll or Gros sub out for Simms or Mediate respectively depending on the flow of the game.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | August 3, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

KC, with the exception of Fred, this is the best lineup we've seen all year. It's really quite good.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | August 3, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

KC,

I consider Fred and Emilio upgrades at their various positions. And while not as big, Burch has been a solid pick up.

And, to be honest, I did not anticipate a DP this year. I would wager that most people who follow the team regularly (including Goff) were assuming a DP would come in 2008, not 2007. Coming off Freddy leaving and two decently large early signings, I knew this wasnt going to be the DP year for us, and I was ok with that.

Am I pissed that they havent done that well this year? Hell yeah, but I dont want the FO to go out and drop a bunch of cash on a player that is just a quick fix for a team fading in the table. I want the DP to be a real deal player who comes in to win trophies. I think the FO believes that Veron is that player, adding bite and skill in the MF to go with Gomez. But his time table may not match with DC's, so we'll have to wait.

My two cents.

Posted by: the cheat | August 3, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

so are the Veron romors officially dead

Posted by: matt | August 3, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

>>>>>I want the DP to be a real deal player who comes in to win trophies.

Fred was supposed to be that player, yet he's been stuffed away into the spot where he can be the least effective within the midfield.

Moreno and Emilio need to start up top, the strategy being to try like hell to get a quick goal and then bunker in for at least a draw. DC doesn't want to have to chase.

I would go with Burch at left mid and Olsen in the defensive midfield, also to provide a better touch on the ball in the center.

I don't know who that leaves on the back line, but hey, how much of a drop-off can there be, honestly?

Posted by: morphit | August 3, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Veron is pretty upset with the club officials at Estudiantes after they a) screwed up the paperwork with Chelsea, and b) tried to trick him into signing a longer contract. However, he is expected to play tonight after he called Chelsea personally and asked them to fax the needed papers.

He was quoted all over the press saying that he had a great offer from the US and the only reason he stayed was because of his love for Estudiantes. However, he clearly left the door open for a December or summer transfer. (His contract with Estudiantes is short.)

Posted by: Lost in BA | August 3, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Steve, please have a talk with Linton Weeks, who writes a nice story in todays Post about Girls Softball. He opens with this:

"Finally: a non-mediocre, consistently victorious professional sports team in town!"

Can you see to it that he is brought up to speed on the 12 years now tenants of RFK?

Posted by: JkR | August 3, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Steve, please have a talk with Linton Weeks, who writes a nice story in todays Post about Girls Softball. He opens with this:

"Finally: a non-mediocre, consistently victorious professional sports team in town!"

Can you see to it that he is brought up to speed on the 12 years now tenants of RFK?

------

I understand your big-picture look at things, but to play devil's advocate, United is only 7-6-3 in the league this year, 1-1-1 in SuperLiga and 0-1 in Open Cup. Pretty mediocre...

Posted by: Goff | August 3, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

morphit: Fred was supposed to be that player, yet he's been stuffed away into the spot where he can be the least effective within the midfield.

No, no he wasn't. Fred was brought in as a longer term replacement to Moreno or Gomez.

Posted by: Goose | August 3, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I guess that explains why they're not using him yet...

Posted by: morphit | August 3, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

A question for Steve out of curiosity, not criticism:

Why is the softball article in the Style section, and has there been any response about disrespecting women's sports?

If it's the case that women, in general, don't read the Sports section and that articles are more likely to get their attention when in Style, then why not put the Freedom and Mystics articles in Style as well? I suppose one can make that argument all the way down to high-school Sports, but the fallout would be tremendous.

Yes, this is probably more appropriate for another thread, but, since Steve responded to the earlier comment, I figure it's fair game now.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 3, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

re: Fred

I don't know who put the idea in people's heads that Fred was supposed to be a HUGE impact signing. Yes, he's an upgrade over young Freddy, and he's much better on the ball than Gros, however, this is a player we picked up from the A-League, not La Liga.

re: United's DP

Why are some of you (mainly DCAustinite) so insistent that United snatch up a DP this very instant? Yes, winning is very important to this club, but laying the cash down for a DP wouldn't have a very good ROI with our current situation at RFK, and ground still not broken on a home of our own. I was shocked to hear United were seriously pursuing Veron, and honestly didn't think the new owners would be keen on plopping millions down on anybody till our stadium deal is secure.

Posted by: AlecW81 | August 3, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a definitive answer for you, but I will tell you the theme of the story has more to do with its placement than the audience. The writer (who works in Style) decided to pursue a human-interest, rather than a sports, angle.

The Freedom feature last month was more sports-oriented (the players hoping for a new league, the practice situation, the success on the field, etc.) and ran in the Sports section. Beyond that, there is no justification for covering them regularly because of the overall low interest level (i.e. attendance).

The Mystics are covered as a Sports beat (albeit a small one) because of their, and their league's, modest popularity. If a Style writer decided to write, say, a feature on a Mystics player's second job or a bunch of players who share a house, it would probably run in Style.

Hope that helps...

Posted by: Goff | August 3, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Morphit-

Burch has been the only player to do well at left back for us all season. Why would you move him forward?

Without Fred, that's our best available team. It's good enough to get a result in New England, if we play with intelligence and can keep Ralston under wraps. As good as Joseph and Dorman are, I still think Ralston is the man you need to stop if you want to stop the Revs. Gros and Burch have the athleticism to do the job, but they will have to play very smart and stay focused for 90 minutes.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 3, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather go down swinging. Try to get a quick goal with a little of the unexpected. If we score with Burch at left mid, move him back. Right now, DC is a little predictable in the attack, and this would be an ideal time to throw a curve.

Posted by: morphit | August 3, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"Hope that helps...

Posted by: Goff
-------

Yes. Thanks. It interesting to find out how things work behind the scenes.

On another topic (Metro Section): Mayor for Life was on the Kojo Nmamdi Show/DC Politics hour today. I missed most of it, but at about the 17:30 mark he was talking about Poplar Point and feeling "betrayed" by Fenty.

It's archived at www.wamu.org

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 3, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

When everyone is healthy and available:

I wouldn't mind seeing Fred in a more central role, he's clearly uncomfortable on the left wing. I'm not sure how best to make that happen with Gomez already in the CAM role. One idea:

-----Emilio
Fred Gomez Moreno
----(anchor)
5 man back line

In this setup the d-backs have a lot freedom to get up the pitch and deliver crosses since they have 3 central defenders and an anchor to cover. They could almost play like defensive-minded wide mids. Perfect for Gros and Burch imo. Namoff can join Boswell and McTavish in the middle, adds a bit of pace and skill there. The anchor can be Olsen or Carrol.

Fred and Moreno play as withdrawn strikers, free to gravitate toward the middle or wing, forward or back, as the situation dictates. Gomez is just behind them in his usual spot. Emilio is farthest up the pitch ready to receive and hold the ball while Fred, Gomez and Moreno make runs and gather his layoffs.

I guess I just want Soehn to make the system fit the players more than the other way around. The team's got lots of talent, they just seem uncomfortable, lacking chemistry...

Posted by: uranderson | August 4, 2007 2:20 AM | Report abuse

That's the line up! Why does everyone get on Carroll? He is playing great with very little help from Gomez! Those two positions are key to the team - since Gomez is FINALLY starting to play well Carroll will get his needed support.

I think DC loses 2 - 0 - NE is playing great soccer!

Posted by: BobF | August 4, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

>>>>
-----Emilio
Fred Gomez Moreno
----(anchor)
5 man back line

All those guys need service, and left side service is perfect to run into. Burch can deliver that service.

He's played forward, can defend, and delivers good crosses. This could get Emilio unstuck. Let Fred float around and create havoc, maybe even put Gomez on the right flank as he can excellently hold, Fred in the center, and have them do lateral overlaps all day long. Time to mix it up and off-balance the opposing defense.

Posted by: morphit | August 4, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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