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Destination: Houston

The regulars who were left behind in Washington this week are on a flight this afternoon. The reserves who earned a point against Saprissa are departing Costa Rica. They'll all meet in Houston later today to prepare for Sunday's critical league match against the Dynamo.

The encouraging news is that leading scorer Luciano Emilio (hamstring) made the trip from D.C. and is listed as questionable. Others en route are the well-rested Crayton, Peralta, Namoff, Simms, Quaranta and Guerrero. As you already know, Gallardo and Fred are out with injuries and Moreno is suspended.

I do not know the specific Costa Rica-to-Houston list, but was told that Quavas Kirk suffered a foot injury and will return to Washington for further examination.

Based on what you saw last night and the group heading to Houston from D.C., any starting lineup suggestions?

I will be back in a bit with updates from the USA training session at RFK.

By Steve Goff  |  October 10, 2008; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: USA Update

Comments

--------Crayton---------
Namoff---Zanicki---Martinez
------Vide-------Simms
Khumalo---LIGHTNING ROD---Quaranta

------Doe---------Emilio

But, it will likely be McTavish, not Zanicki and Tino will line up in the middle with Rod up top with either Doe or Emilio, depending on the latters hammy. On the left? Thompson or Burch maybe

Posted by: delantero | October 10, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I am not so optimistic as to put Emilio in the starting 11. Even if he were, he would not get the service he needs and will have to come way back, his back to goal, to receive the ball. So, based on that:

Crayton
Namoff - Gonzo P - McT - Gonzo M
Vide - Simms - Guerrero
Tino
Doe - Boyzzz

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 10, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Spot on, I-270, Exit 1.

BTW... I'll be out your way this weekend as my son participates in the Discovery Cup at the SoccerPlex.

If you see a beater with a McCain sticker driving madly down your namesake, that be me.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 10, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

---------------Crayton----------------

Namoff---Mctavish--Peralta---Martinez

-----------Vide------Simms------------

Thompson---------------------Guerrero

-----------Boyzzz----Doe-------------

Comments or thoughts??

Posted by: Josh | October 10, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I meant:

---------------Crayton----------------

Namoff---Mctavish--Peralta---Martinez

-----------Vide------Simms------------

Quaranta---------------------Guerrero

-----------Boyzzz----Doe-------------

Comments or thoughts??

Posted by: Josh | October 10, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Peralta's healthy? Wheww.. We're saved.

Personally, I think Burch is probably in the back line, and McTavish in the midfield. I have to say, though, Burch was pretty impressive coming off the bench late last night. Maybe, that's his best role, when DCU is desperately seeking a goal and needs someone who can actually deliver a ball into the box on a set play?

I suppose you could save Emilio as a sub, but what happens if he comes on as a sub and gets hurt?

The only reason this game will be competitive is that Ching is in Washington, while United is in Houston

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I wonder whether the turf had anything to do with Kirk's injury....

Posted by: Juan-John | October 10, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I say try Rod D in goal... Put Crayton in the midfield....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Foot injury, on turf? What a surprise. That never happens...

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

CHING???? I am suprised he is in the Us lineup based on his current form.

Posted by: dc fan | October 10, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we can win with a 4-4-2.

Namoff--Peralta---Martinez (STAY TIGHT)

Guerrero---Vide--Simms---Boyz
----Tino---

----------Rod, Doe-----

Posted by: whatever | October 10, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Looks reasonable

But I'd put Boyzzz on the right and Quaranta as withdrawn Forward/A-mid

I wonder though if Burch starts on the left since Martinez went 90?

I also wodner if they'd put McT as one of teh D/holdign Mids possibly palying just in front of Simms, and having Burch on the back (on the left with Martinez pushed in or central and Martinez on the left.)


I meant:

---------------Crayton----------------

Namoff---Mctavish--Peralta---Martinez

-----------Vide------Simms------------

Quaranta---------------------Guerrero


-----------Boyzzz----Doe-------------

Comments or thoughts??

Posted by: Josh | October 10, 2008 3:26 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Crayton
Namoff Peralta Martinez Burch
Simms
Vide Guerrero
Quaranta
Doe Boyzzz

I don't want to see Wells or Dyachenko on the field for DC ever again and I'm afraid that means I'm going to have to stop watching.

Posted by: ahelms | October 10, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

------------Crayton-----------
------McTavish----Peralta-----
Namoff----------------Martinez
---------Vide & Clyde---------
Quaranta--------------Guerrero
--------Lightning Rod!--------
-------------Doe--------------


Actually, Quaranta will be attacking mid and Boyzzz on the right, I just wanted to see the reaction of you Rod haters...

Posted by: andrew | October 10, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

No Burch?

Posted by: The Jim | October 10, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

------------Crayton-------------
Namoff---Peralta-Janicki---Burch
--------McTavish-Simms----------
Quaranta-----------------Guerrero
------------Khumalo-------------
-------------Doe----------------

I know that's wishful thinking, and we'll likely see this:

--------------Crayton-----------------
Namoff---Peralta---McTavish------Burch
---------------Simms------------------
Cordeiro----------------------Guerrero
--------------Quaranta----------------
----------Khumalo---------------------
-------------------Doe----------------

Posted by: AlecW81 | October 10, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

CHING???? I am suprised he is in the Us lineup based on his current form.

Posted by: dc fan | October 10, 2008 4:06 PM
You're kidding right?

Posted by: dadryan | October 10, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Martinez seems to be getting a start from most of us. I'm not so sure. He's been shutting off mentally too often of late, which is a sign of mental fatigue (case in point: Saprissa's goal taken back for offsides should have stood because Martinez didn't maintain the line). Considering he just played at Saprissa, I'd at least consider a back four of Namoff-McTavish-Peralta-Burch.

It's hard to gauge any of this because we don't know how much good the rest did for the regular starters. McTavish traveled and played 20 minutes, so that's not much of a break. Maybe it's him that sits? In that situation, you've got to pick one of Burch or Martinez to play centrally (both have shown weaknesses there, and right now Burch looks more focused, which would lend itself to the more cerebral position in the middle...tough call). I'm betting that, with Houston likely to start Jaqua and Kamara, Soehn will play his big guys in the middle to counter, which means Peralta and Burch.

As far as Janicki, I think Saprissa further illustrated what he's good at and what he's not. Basically, he plays a pretty simple game and is more of a marking back (best in a back three) than a standard center back. If the job is simply to deal with one guy on the ball or off the ball, he's fine. If it becomes the more complicated task of guarding space or seeing an attack before it develops, he struggles a bit. He's not a bad player, but I'd be hesitant to play him against Houston in a back four. If we, via some grand quirk of fortune, find ourselves leading late, I'd definitely bring him in to man-mark whoever Houston has leading the line at the moment. I think that's a role that he'd excel in.

Simms and Vide seem to be the popular pair in the middle, and I have to agree. Since we're lacking most of our skill players, this game is going to be won with fight. Considering the combustible qualities of both Clark and DeRosario, a guy like Vide could set one of them off. On the other hand, he could well be sent off himself. Guerrero is a sure thing on the left, and you'll probably see Khumalo and Quaranta exchanging positions a lot between right midfield and the 2nd forward. If Emilio is 70% or better, Soehn will start him (and he'll be captain as well). However, I think his style of play suits Houston's defenders very well. He's not fast enough to expose their only real defensive weakness (speed down the middle), and he's not going to get the quality of passing and movement to unlock them either. Considering the relative lack of creativity we'll be putting out there, it might be better to start Doe (who can be played in over the top or via simpler through balls, provided he stays onside).

Soehn has some tough calls to make here. Defensively and up front, it's hard to tell where our available players stand in terms of health and energy level. The only defender that's a sure thing is Namoff, while

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 10, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Disregard that last "while".

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 10, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I'd have to say

---------------Onstad--------------
Mullrooney-Boswell-Robinson-Barrett
---------------Clark---------------
Mullan------------------------Davis
---------------DeRo----------------
----------Jaqua-----Wondolowski----

Though I'd be interested in seeing Cameron get time up top. Either that or put DeRo at forward and put Holden/Davis in at attacking mid (depending on injury status). You know, I actually think that second idea would be better than the lineup I put there.

Of course, I don't know how that's going to help the DC fans pick their lineup. Too bad for you guys DeRo doesn't go to Canada camp until after Saturday.

Posted by: AlexS | October 10, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

DCU have fully given up on the season.

How can they manage playing a game without Simms (or even making the trip to Saprissa) without thinking the season is over.

Thanks for the memories Coach Soehn (and hopefully a few others in the front office)

Hopeful the owners can fugure this thing out over the winter.

timmy out

Posted by: timmy | October 10, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

NO TiMMY!!!!!!!!!
Dude Simms needed rest more than anyone.

Posted by: dadryan | October 10, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

@ timmy

They did give up on the CCL. However, those games do not count in the MLS. The reason Simms did not make the trip was to give rest for the Houston game -- precisely because that's the only thing DCU still has to play for. They need a fresher Simms against the Dynamo than we have seen in recent games. They rested him because they're not prepared to give up on the MLS season. Surely you don't need someone to explain that to you....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 10, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Play Dyachenko.

Posted by: Soehn's Ghost | October 10, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Does it matter?

Crayton should be in goal, but his mistakes outweigh all his enthusiasm -- not a long term solution for sure. He's athletic and has great reflexes, but his positioning is awful. I doubt the team should make any great effort to keep him. I'd just as soon see Wells, just because he may still be here next year. Spend that DP money on a decent goalie.

McTavish should play Right Back - to attack down the flank as well as defend.

Namoff and Peralta at Center Back.

Martinez at Left Back.

Quaranta Right wing
Vide and Simms Center mid
Guerrero (if not fit then Burch) Left wing

Khumalo and Doe at forward. Give Emilio time to recover. He needs to be fit for the last two games, not risk getting reinjured coming back too soon.

A point would be a decent result and still leave DC a mathematical chance. Everything gets real interesting on Thursday at RFK

Posted by: oz4dcu | October 11, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

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