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D.C. United's Lineup?

D.C. United has proclaimed all spring that the club's quality depth will help it thrive during a long year that includes the league calendar, domestic cup competition and international play. Injuries and a suspension tested the personnel pool early, and tonight Coach Tom Soehn seems likely to turn, by choice, to several reserves for a U.S. Open Cup preliminary match against FC Dallas at RFK Stadium.

Soehn and the players hinted yesterday at a blended lineup -- regulars and reserves. Soehn has had nice things to say about rookie goalkeeper Milos Kocic. Christian Gomez is out with an injury and Jaime Moreno labored in the second half last Friday. Ben Olsen has to be careful about his ankle. So how about.....

Kocic in goal; McTavish at right back, Janicki in the middle and Wallace on the left; Pontius on the right, Fred in the middle, Quaranta on the left with Jacobson and Simms in holding positions; Doe and Emilio up top.

N'Silu has a hip flexor strain. Otherwise, I would slide him into the lineup in place of Doe. (Then again, maybe he's well enough to start.) I am curious to see if Thabiso "Boyzzz" Khumalo makes the game-day roster. He has played just 18 minutes this season (none since the opener) and might be the odd-man out when defender Avery John officially joins the club.

Just a guess. All things considered, who would you like to see in the lineup?

For Open Cup guidelines and broadcast information, keep reading.....

Reminder: In the Open Cup, teams are permitted four substitutions. If tied at the end of regulation, there will be a full 30-minute overtime. Penalty kicks are the final option.

TV: none whatsoever.

Local radio: WTOP (1050 AM), English; WACA (1540 AM), WYSK (1390 AM), WLXE (1600 AM), Spanish.

Online audio: (English and Spanish available).

Twitter: (occasional updates), (occasional updates)

Blog: Soccer Insider for pregame and postgame info.

By Steve Goff  |  April 22, 2009; 11:46 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , U.S. Open Cup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Early Wednesday Kickaround
Next: Open Cup Matchnight: United-Dallas


hwo bout we keep the same D so they can continue to gel my team is

namoff jakovic burch
Simms Jacobson
tino Fred Wallace
Doe Pontius

Posted by: ThE-BaRRa-BrAvA-KiD | April 22, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Send out the Washington Freedom.

Posted by: Ron16 | April 22, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Goff: Is DCU planning on having one of its staffers hold and use a camera from the press box for film review later? Maybe they could use that for any interesting clips (like, say, a goal)?

Posted by: Juan-John | April 22, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

If I buy a ticket, can I play?

Posted by: Kev29 | April 22, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure they are taping the game to review afterward, but probably not available for public consumption unless there are spectacular highlights. You'd have to check with the club's pr staff.

Posted by: Steve Goff | April 22, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Kocic or Wicks

McT, Janicki, Wallace
Khumalo, Jacobson, DiRaimando, Tino
Doe, Pontius

Posted by: delantero | April 22, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I would definitely rest the older and injured legs. I would also consider resting Emilio. Learn a lesson from last year. They should still be able to take Dallas with the aforementioned out of the line-up.

Posted by: blackandred777 | April 22, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Judging from Soehn's choices with Fred and Quaranta, I'd expect Fred wide and Quaranta in the middle. I think Soehn prefers Quaranta's physical presence and the fact that he commits a slightly lower volume of fouls. In either case, it's pretty nice to have both of them with low mileage at this point in the season, since I expect both to be able to force their way into starting positions as the season progresses.

It's unfortunate that N'Silu can't play. I'm sure most fans and the coaching staff were looking forward to seeing what he could give over a full match. If Simms was sick enough on Saturday to have to come off (something he never does), I wonder if he should be used in this game. DiRaimondo has MLS starting experience. If you can't find him minutes in an Open Cup qualifier, when will he ever play? Hold Simms out until we're trying to finish out the last 10-15 minutes.

I'm not sure I like Wallace in a back three. I did see the logic in moving him back against the Revs on Saturday (Burch was struggling, the Revs were not playing any combinations, and their only forward's primary threat was speed), but in general I don't know if that's the right move against any team playing 2 forwards or attempting to come forward whatsoever. I think that we'll be seeing Cunningham from the start (alone or partnered, and if so with whom, is hard to say), so perhaps Wallace can come back if his job is to stick with Cunningham. Otherwise, I don't think it's the best use of his talents.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 22, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Too bad about N'Silu. I was hoping to see him paired with Doe up front. Here's what I would like to see:

Doe Pontius

Wallace Jacobsen Quaranta Barklage Fred

Jacovic Janicki McTavish



Doe Quaranta

Wallace Jacobson Fred Barklage Pontius

Jacovic Janicki McTavish


Posted by: b18bolo | April 22, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This is the kind of game that screams for Rod Dyachenko, Pat Carroll, Craig Thompson, Ryan Miller, Mike Zaher and of course former 4th string goalie Quavas Kirk.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 22, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't anybody have Anthony Peters in their lineup? Similar comment as Chest made about DiRaimondo… If Peters can't make the starting lineup in an Open Cup qualifier, why is he even on the team? I find him being the most likely candidate to be looking for a new job once the Avery John move is finalized.

Posted by: DCUMD | April 22, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Thx, Goff. Any news from the MLS Board of Governors meeting in Noo Yawk today?

Posted by: Juan-John | April 22, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

How about if we let the boys telecommute for this one? It is earth day after all.

Posted by: Ron16 | April 22, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

without the need to "protect" Gomez with 2 D-mids should we play 4-4-2 instead of 3-5-2?

Posted by: fedssocr | April 22, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone confirm how many internationals DCU have on the roster? I think Boyzzz is the trade because he is an international and so is John? Or do we have room to move Peters for John?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 22, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

RE: Josh Wicks

I never want to see him manning the nets again wearing a DC Shirt.

He's welcome to shag balls, pick up the cones, and carry the Gatorade jugs.

He can even practice sometimes.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 22, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey, new Goff pic for me at the top of the blog. A bit more 'wizened' perhaps? Is that a tweed jacket with elbow patches?

Posted by: JkR- | April 22, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

-----------------J. Campos----------------
--T. Woods----P. Pan----K.Bryant----G.Giant
--------------Jim Ross(aka J.R.)----------
D. Earnhart Jr.------------------W. Disney
---------------Hulk Hogan's wife----------
-----J. Harkes---------E. Wynalda---------

Coach: Talon

with this team we should still win.

Posted by: adamsunited | April 22, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

-------------- Garlick ---------------

Gori ---- Pope ---- Llamosa --- Agoos

Maessner ----- Williams ------- Harkes

-------------- El Diablo -------------

--------- Moreno ---------------------

-------------------- Diaz Arce -------

Posted by: joedoc1 | April 22, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Goff's new look. Like it.
I also like Goff's line up. too bad N'Silu may not be in line up. I really would to see what he can do or will he be another one. We can't take too easy on Dallas. Cooper is hot right now.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | April 22, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The real question for tonight... why the f--- are tickets $22-$50?? The men who run this club are complete morons.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 22, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I did a double take on your new pic, Steve.

Having seen the same single photo of you all this time, my initial reaction was 'that's not Goff'.

Posted by: KireDCU | April 22, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse


Take it up with the DCSEC.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 22, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

wouldn't start Emilio - if needed, bring him in in the second half.

I hope we aren't dropping Boyzzz. The only "reason" to would be if we need the international slot.

I'm still not sure how Nick Raimondo can be playing for both RSL and DCU at the same time?

Anyone know if Simms is feeling better?

Posted by: diego_r | April 22, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm in favor of resting Emilio for this one.

Posted by: StewartDC8 | April 22, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse


I had forgotten Barklage. I know his only appearance thus far was centrally, but I believe throughout preseason that the indication was that he was going to be a wide player that worked hard. I suspect we'll be in some form of 352 for the foreseeable future, which means that right midfield would be a good place for him (especially if Pontius is needed further forward, which is the case tonight).


That crossed my mind, but I feel like Soehn prefers this formation and only ever played 442 when his hand was forced by bad results and desperation. I could see it working tonight, though:

------------ Pontius - Doe
------------- Quaranta
Wallace ----------------------- Fred
------------ Jacobson
Burch - Peters - Janicki - McTavish
-------------- Kocic

And there are a lot of potential variations. Maybe Wallace plays left back, Quaranta and Fred man the wings, and we play Jacobson and DiRaimondo as dual holding midfielders. Maybe Fred and Quaranta swap positions. Maybe Khumalo comes in on the right, Fred goes to the left, and Wallace plays left back. I feel like, given the need to rest the vets, a 442 gives us a lot more options with the remaining players. With the 3412 we've been using, we don't have a natural fit on the left of the back three (Burch and Wallace both belong further wide in a back four), and we lack someone skilled enough as an attacking midfielder to truly justify playing 2 defensive midfielders underneath. Also, if Wallace is playing in the back or being rested, we lack a good fit at left midfield. I am usually a big backer of not tinkering with something that's working (in our case, it's not working brilliantly, but it's not failing either), but a switch tonight wouldn't bother me at all.


We've got 9 internationals (Kocic, Crayton, Jakovic, Fred, Gomez, Khumalo, N'Silu, Emilio, and Doe). Thanks to our trades with Colorado, we have 2 extra slots beyond the 8 MLS gives you, so we're actually fine as far as adding a foreign player goes. It's all about making senior roster space.

If memory serves, though, John has a green card.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 22, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I was checking to see if I was at the right site when I saw the new picture.

Posted by: sitruc | April 22, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm still not sure how Nick Raimondo can be playing for both RSL and DCU at the same time?

Posted by: diego_r | April 22, 2009 2:44 PM


Ncik Rimando is the starting goalie for Real Salt Lake. John DiRaimondo is a reserve midfielder for DC United

Posted by: Josh8 | April 22, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

That of course would be Nick Rimando

Posted by: Josh8 | April 22, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Is John DiRaimondo married to Skylar?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 22, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Take it up with the DCSEC.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood

I realize that there's rent to pay, but DCSEC are not pegging the prices United have to charge. This "bad deal at RFK" excuse is getting really old.

Seriously, charging $22+ for a reserve match in the Cup is beyond belief. These guys HAVE TO GO.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 22, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the clarification Mr. Rockwell. Forgot all about the extra slots, John's potential greencard, etc...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 22, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Steve, is it too much to ask you to show your pearly whites or what man?;-) I had a feeling the photo change was coming...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 22, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

A quick google of Avery John green card turns up this old blog post at Climbing the Ladder that lists John as a green card holder.


While I'm not as angry as you are, I have to agree. I thought $25 at the Soccerplex was too much over the past couple of years (even after being given a free ticket to the Rochester game by a nice woman who herself had gotten comped but was missing members of her party), and $22+ for an Open Cup qualifier is in the same category. I recall going to see DC play Richmond a few years back for like $10. I remember having enough cash left over to buy a pizza and a drink at halftime. I believe my ticket to the Harrisburg-DC game 2 years ago was $15. Sure, those are lower division teams in lower-income areas, but that doesn't merit a 50% or more markup. One way to get people to care about the Open Cup is to get them through the door, and cheaper tickets would be a smart way to do that.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 22, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Seattle have tickets for their Cup qualifier (at a Soccerplex type place) on sale for $10-$15. A team that actually has a vested interested in their fans and area (and vice versa). Not just looking to whine their way into a sweetheart deal.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 22, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse


I'm not disagreeing with you - I don't see anything "Special Game A" about this. However, given United's attendance history for games that aren't part of the season ticket package - if you cut 50% of the ticket prices, do you think greater DC understands the USOC and cares enough at this point to purchase that extra seat or 4? Would it add 25-35% to attendance?

I still think it's a good move they did by offering Season Plan holders the chance to purchase Champions League and other game tickets not in the plan at their Average Cost according to their plan.

Again - not disagreeing with you that the prices are high given the caliber of team that will be fielded by both squads. But, I can see where they are coming from as well. And on the flip side - if you're "Special Game A"-ing tonight as I am, how would you feel if it was coming out of your season plan, but walk-ups got it for half or some other fraction of the price you paid?

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 22, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The club knew that we would be a play-in for the USOC and would have several early round games before they determined the season ticket plans. They also knew that we would not play Superliga which was included in last years plan. So for ticket plan holders, last season's poor performance has resulted in a play-in as part of the plan. Its caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. The marketing department is going to need to be more creative this year to fill seats. The college $15 dollar deal last friday seemed to be on the right track. The secret is to get people to come repeatedly. That probably is going to require discounting in this market.

Posted by: sbg1 | April 22, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse


True - but just like empty seats at Yankee Stadium and Nationals Stadium - it's also a matter of expectations on prices and transparency of revenue streams - especially when attempting to create pro formas for stadiums.

An economist would argue, that rationally acting people would wait until day-of-game to buy tickets, if they knew that the price would be below what a season ticket holder paid. At that point, the only benefit to a season ticket is getting the same seat each game and not having to worry about a sell-out.

College night and other promotions will work because you appeal to a group that's going to have to be affiliated with something else in order to qualify. So not everyone who waits to buy tickets is going to be elligible for that reduction.

Repeat attendance is going to be determined by team competitive performance and match day experience. I find Redskins games to be lacking in both, therefore, I'm never going to be a purchaser. DC United fell off the wagon last year - some people aren't going to come back until they feel meaningful change in the squad has occurred and the results confirm that.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | April 22, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm still not sure how Nick Raimondo can be playing for both RSL and DCU at the same time?

Posted by: diego_r | April 22, 2009 2:44 PM


Ncik Rimando is the starting goalie for Real Salt Lake. John DiRaimondo is a reserve midfielder for DC United

Posted by: Josh8 | April 22, 2009 3:13 PM


Got it. Which one does Alecko Eskandarian live in the basement of?

Posted by: diego_r | April 22, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse


Hey -- I got an e-mail from DC United. My ticket -- maybe yours, too -- has the wrong starting time. It's a 7:30 start, not the 8:00 it says on my ticket.

I still think it would probably be quicker to take the Beltway West, but it's a close call. There might be a back-up, there might not be....

Posted by: fischy | April 22, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm late to this thread, but didn't the Soccerplex tickets include a "parking fee," Chest_Rockwell?

Posted by: sitruc | April 22, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

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