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D.C. United's Lineup?

With about 48 hours until the United-Red Bulls kickoff at the Meadowlands (TV: Telefutura), here is what we know:

On the updated official injury list, Christian Gomez (hamstring) and Ange N'Silu (hip flexor) are considered "out."

Only two goalkeepers will travel, so we'll assume Louis Crayton and Milos Kocic, which leaves Josh Wicks at home. John DiRaimondo didn't play in the U.S. Open Cup match, so it's fair to conclude he won't be on the travel roster. Anthony Peters will probably stay home, and although he went 90 the other night, Thabiso Khumalo seems doubtful for the 18-man list.

So that leaves.....

GKs: Crayton, Kocic.
Ds: Namoff, Jakovic, Janicki, Burch, John.
MFs: Fred, Olsen, Simms, Jacobson, Barklage, McTavish, Wallace.
Fs: Emilio, Pontius, Moreno, Quaranta.

How about a starting lineup of Crayton in goal; Namoff, Janicki and Burch along the back; Fred and Wallace on the flanks with Olsen and Simms in holding positions and Quaranta in the middle; and Emilio and Pontius up top?

How would you like the lineup to look?

By Steve Goff  |  April 24, 2009; 2:39 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Few Minutes With Tom Soehn
Next: Saturday Kickaround


No Jakovic starting?

What about:


Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | April 24, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm worried about Olsen on the turf. What about replacing him with Jacobson or McTavish?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | April 24, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

keep olsen off the turf

Posted by: causmos | April 24, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Doug makes a great point. We *have* to take care of Benny's ankles. Maybe bring him in as a second half sub? I'm up in the air about Greg and Dejan - I'm excited to see who Tommy puts in the starting XI.

I also really liked Barklage on Weds. Would love to see him get some more minutes in the 10-spot, but I also recognize that he's a rookie, and this is a league road game, so either Tino or Fred in the middle seems to be a safer option. That said, if the offense isn't clicking, I would love to see young Brandon get a shot in the middle of the park.

Posted by: TheAMT | April 24, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse



I really hope that Burch doesn't start at LB. I can't see Olsen or Moreno starting, but I think Olsen will be in there. Also Quaranta may get the start over Barklage.

Posted by: no_recess | April 24, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Dear Tommy,
Please keep Ben and his ankle off of the turf this Sunday.
Posted by: delantero | April 24, 2009 1:51 PM

If Barklage was so good against Dallas, give him a shot with Simms and Moreno.

Either that Jacobson, Simms, Moreno.

Please give Pontius a chance to redeem himself up top with Lucho.

Posted by: delantero | April 24, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree: leave Benny at home, or at least on the bench. Keep him the hell away from the green concrete.

Posted by: EdTheRed | April 24, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Please, no Burch.

The best thing about him was getting forward and crossing as a left back in a back 4. He's weak as a marking back.

Avery John played many years as a left-sided marking back in a back 3 at New England. He can perform the defensive duties required much, much better than Burch, and is also good in the air.

Posted by: Shmenge | April 24, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

With Gomez out, does this mean we'll see him up in the support's section banging on a drum again. That was awesome!

Posted by: dculoyal | April 24, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse


I think Barklage needs another game to see if Dallas was a fluke. Quaranta should continue to get minutes, as a sub for whoever needs it (Wallace when he's run himself to the ground). Moreno supersub, for possession.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 24, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and Comcast is a conglomeration of dickishness for not airing the game. AGAIN!!! (It's the economy, we need to show the biography of the no-name golfers, or whatever else they are playing at three o-clock on a SUNDAY).

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 24, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

GKs: Crayton, Kocic.
Ds: Namoff, Jakovic, Janicki, Burch, John.
MFs: Fred, Olsen, Simms, Jacobson, Barklage, McTavish, Wallace.
Fs: Emilio, Pontius, Moreno, Quaranta.

By Steve Goff | April 24, 2009; 2:39 PM ET

If they play that line-up - they'll definitely win! :-)

Posted by: Kev29 | April 24, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I always thought artificial turf was better for ankles? i thought it was harder on the knees.
I'd go with...


Posted by: StewartDC8 | April 24, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and Comcast is a conglomeration of dickishness for not airing the game. AGAIN!!! (It's the economy, we need to show the biography of the no-name golfers, or whatever else they are playing at three o-clock on a SUNDAY).

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 24, 2009 3:25 PM

The league has a contract to nationally televise games on Telefutura Sunday's at 3. Why would Comcast Sports Net be able to show a match on another network?

I don't get why people think it's United's right to be shown on CSN, every match. The club have a nice deal with the network and the coverage is quite good. Just be glad that CSN were screwed by Angelos/MASN on baseball. If they could show the Nats or Orioles, United coverage would be next to none.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 24, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather see Fred in the middle than on the wing - give him a chance to play the Gomez position in Gomito's absence?

Is a 3-5-2 required? A 4-2-3-1 with Wallace as a left back instead of a wing-back might be better, especially if Dane Richards is playing on the right wing (pardon my ignorance if he's not).

Namoff - Jakovic - Janicki - Wallace
Simms - Jacobson
Pontius - Fred - Quaranta

Save Olsen and Moreno for impact substitutions if needed (no need to start them on the turf). Burch can sub in as a defender if needed, while McT can sub in just about anywhere. :-)

Posted by: SSMD1 | April 24, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't get telefutura. I have a right to be pissed.

They should Never go more than two games without showing the match, it's simply not right. We better have a Lot of games in a row coming up. That's all I have to say.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 24, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

A couple of things.

First off, as noted earlier, I think Goff might have slipped up by not putting Jakovic in the lineup. No reason not to play him, unless he was thinking the opening game lineup of Jakovic-Janicki-Namoff.

Second, Ben Olsen mentioned about a few days ago that he actually likes playing on turf. He said he realized he's in the minority, but he actually has had very good games up in New York. If he wants to play, I say let him play. The team is better with him on the field.

And lastly, about the Telefutura deal and Comcast not showing the match. The league deal with Telefutura is not exclusive (unlike with FSC or ESPN2, which their games are exclusive only to them. As a matter of fact, the game is being televised by MSG in the New York area. Comcast has televised Telefutura matches in recent years, they just didn't televise this one.

Chill out. Go to your local soccer bar or a friends house (as I am doing) to watch the match. I don't get Telefutura (as most people north of DC don't), so I adapt..

Don't blame Comcast. They probably had that Sunday marked out as a possible Caps playoff game, which would make sense for the network.

Posted by: ARickey | April 24, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

If Angel starts for NYRB, Jakovic starts for DCU...

...assuming DCU is interested in winning.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 24, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't get telefutura. I have a right to be pissed.

They should Never go more than two games without showing the match, it's simply not right. We better have a Lot of games in a row coming up. That's all I have to say.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 24, 2009 3:56 PM

Comcast have a contract to show 15 matches this season - so a lot of them will be in the middle/end of the season. That's all they want. You can scream to the heavens, but it's not really going to make soccer a more profitable television enterprise.

Just be glad that the Redskins pre-season games don't conflict with United/Comcast this season. That probably really pissed you off!

Posted by: Kev29 | April 24, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Barklage! I liked what I saw on Wed.

Will the game be on at Molly Malone's? I assume yes but since I'm headin up there after work guess I'll just ask.

Posted by: mbetka23 | April 24, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse


Why are you defending Comcast? Do you work for them or are you a shareholder? I am only joking, but kudos to you for going to your local watering hole to watch the game. That is the sign of a true fan. However there are some of us who would like to watch the game in the comforts of our own home and not take in all the second hand smoke and the uncomfortable environment.

Posted by: no_recess | April 24, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree. McTavish instead of Olsen. I thought he looked very good the other night. As for the center midfield, I have no idea. I am not sold on Quaranta. He runs around a lot but tries to do too much himself instead of using his teammates more. How about Moreno in the center MF? Put Pontius and Luci together up front.

At this point I think Jakovic and Janicki are a toss up. Maybe put them both out there and leave Burch on the bench.

Posted by: fedssocr | April 24, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I'd say Goff has it almost right.

I'd guess that Fred will nominally be the AM -- in the middle, instead of Quaranta. Santino, not Pontius, will up front with Emilio. Pontius will join Wallace as the flanking mids. However, I imagine this will be fairly fluid during the game, with Fred gravitating towards the left, and Pontius covering the middle.

Posted by: fischy | April 24, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Those with concerns about Olsen playing on the turf are probably voicing something Soehn is considering. I wouldn't be shocked to see either McTavish or Jacobson starting in his place.

Posted by: fischy | April 24, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Olsen better play I'm going to the game...

Posted by: bighungry | April 24, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Namoff Jakovic Janicki
Jacobson Simms
Fred Barklage Wallace
Emilio Pontius

Posted by: carnack | April 24, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Pepe with a 10 game suspension for Real Madrid!

Posted by: Reignking | April 24, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"Ten players and a goalkeeper." Piotr Nowak

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | April 24, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse


2nd half subs.
John for Wallace (Who moves up for McTavish)
Moreno for Tino (Tino move up for Pontius or out...)

Definate bench, Olsen. He does not need to be out on the turf.

Why is Comcast not showing any of the bloody games?? That fact, sucks a big one....

I guess I'll be watching it in Espanol...

Posted by: dogboy | April 24, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

@Kev29: Wasn't the first game of the season at LA shown on Telefutura and Comcast? I swore it was. Surprised they're not doing that again...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 24, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

namoff jakovic janicki pontius
fred olsen sims wallace
emillio quaranta

subs-moreno in for quaranta 70th min.
olsen may slide into the attacking center mid spot if emillio cant get the ball early on. 5 in the middle is too congested. slows down distribution.

note- olsen may also be subbed by bartlidge.

Posted by: g3impreza | April 24, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Since we're diagramming -- and I've decided to give Olsen a pass....

Namoff - Janicki - Burch
Jacobson - Simms
Pontius - Fred - Wallace
Emilio - Quaranta

Just a hunch that Jacobson gets a nod over McTavish, because Tommy might see Devon as the more valuable substitute. On Wed., Burch and Janicki both looked pretty solid on D, despite Janicki's handball. I expect they've earned the start. Quaranta's play earns him a start up front, I think Tommy will prefer him there -- at least prefer him to Pontius, who seems to do better from midfield. At least, that's how I see it...

Posted by: fischy | April 24, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree Janicki looked good in Wednesday's pick-up game. He looked fit, alert, even showed some quickness. However, he cost us a goal on offense in the first half (whiffed on a header), and should have cost us one in the second. Plus, if I remember right, he played the full 90. I don't start him against MLS' premiere striker. Notice the instant Cooper checked in, Jakovic shifted to the middle. This isn't rocket science.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 24, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Sanna Nyassi's story makes --

Soccer pro survives malaria, now helps others

Posted by: Reignking | April 24, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Bam. Blunt and in your face. I like Barklage, he looked darn good the other night distribution wise. I'm gonna change mine around a little bit just for kicks. I guess I don't really expect a 4-man back line especially for an away game or with wallace playing on the back line at all. This is more what I would like to see long term, except with Gomez in the CAM position. You can sub Simms in for ben, also have flexibility on the flanks if you want to put Tino or Burch on one of the wings (burchy for left-footed service). Jaime can also come in and play as a slightly withdrawn/offset forward behind Emilio and drop those balls he is so good at finishing right into his damn lap. Would also like to see some back and forth on the left flank between Sir Fred and possibly with burch playing on the wing.

--Pontius----------------Sir Fred

Posted by: jdickinson187 | April 24, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

More public health news. This weekend's games in Mexico City are going to be held in closed stadiums due to the swine flu that's going around. Pumas will host Chivas in empty Ciudad Universitaria and America will host Tecos in an empty Estadio Azteca.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 24, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Slightly OT, and I may be the only one interested in this, but Fathead is FINALLY selling DCU wall logos!

Posted by: Juan-John | April 24, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with fedssocr about Quaranta: Yes, he runs around a lot, but he doesn't really try to do too much himself. In fact, in the Dallas match I think he should have been a little more selfish and not dished the ball up so much. But he got one official assist (to Barklage) and set up Pontius to pass to Fred for the first goal, so what's not to like?

Posted by: b18bolo | April 24, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Go with Kocic...Crayton ain't gonna cut it...Bench him now while the season is still in hand...

Posted by: alan19 | April 25, 2009 2:32 AM | Report abuse


That lineup doesn't look too bad, but I don't see Soehn making the switch. He seems to prefer 352 in general, and acquiring John gives us a player whose natural position is on the left of a back three. Unless things go south and his job is on the line, I doubt we'll see any major formation changes this season.

That said, if ever there was a game that such a switch could happen, it would be this one. NY primarily attacks the wings, and with Gomez out we don't necessarily need 4 midfielders working behind him.


I guess I'm in the minority on this, but I feel like both Olsen and Moreno can't be ruled out as starters. Remember, Gomez is out; if we send out a team without Gomez, Moreno, and Olsen, we are guaranteeing that the game will be played on NY's terms (sloppy, kick-and-chase, emphasis on counters). We all are very much aware that Fred and Quaranta both give the ball away too much to be the calming influence over the team, and Jacobson (to me) has looked more effective in a purely defensive position than in the Olsen two-way role.

If Olsen feels up to playing (like ARickey said, he apparently likes turf for reasons beyond my comprehension), I say let him have a run. He always plays well against NY, and without Gomez we need someone with the smarts and ability in the center of midfield.

Make no mistake: this is an important game. These are two teams that will be fighting down to the last game of the season for a playoff berth. 3 points this weekend would be huge (we'd be 4 points ahead of NY, plus a game in hand). Scoff if you want, or treat all MLS games before September as unimportant, but if I'm Tom Soehn I'm treating this game as vital. A 4 point lead, with the possibility of being expanded to 7, over a playoff rival would be a wonderful thing to have.

Call me nuts, but I say that with Moreno and Olsen we have a good chance at 3 points. Without them, we're basically signing up to play the same ugly soccer NY plays, and hoping that we're more ruthless in front of goal than them. Since they have Angel, that's a bet I'd rather avoid.

My response to SSMD1 has me thinking we should go with a 1 game switch to 442. Gomez is out, we have no available player I'm comfortable with on the left of a back three (John hasn't played in months, Burch is in poor form), so I think our strongest team would be:

------------ Moreno - Emilio
Fred ------------ Olsen ---------- Pontius
------------------- Simms
Wallace - Janicki - Jakovic - Namoff
------------------- Crayton

Quaranta would replace Moreno or Olsen directly if either can't go. If both are being rested, Quaranta goes up top, Jacobson replaces Olsen, and let's all hope Emilio is feeling cold blooded.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 25, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: RRP1 | April 25, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Include Barklage. He didn't need an invitation to shoot. Scored nicely.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 25, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Damn, it's refreshing to actually have depth and viable alternatives for a change when determining our lineup. There are about 5 or 6 different, solid combinations we could throw at the pink cows. I'd go with Chest's lineup if all systems are go for Jaime and Ben.

Hope the team finds a way to stick around for more than a couple more years so we can enjoy watching these guys develop into a force. I hate to say it but KP deserves some serious credit for assembling all these young studs. And if Barklage's performance the other night was no fluke, this past year's draft will probably prove to be United's best draft ever, respectfully.

Posted by: JaimeSegundo | April 25, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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