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Quaranta, McTavish and Fred Status

Santino Quaranta: "I feel great. ... I'm not sure [if I will be in uniform tomorrow]. It's up to them right now. I practiced this week, so it's their decision. I know they always talk about being patient because we have all these steps [in the season], so we'll see."

Devon McTavish: "I started training mid-week and I felt pretty good. Nothing really set me back. I will be available, so it's up to Tommy and the coaches."

Fred: "I have been working hard, but I'm not 100 percent yet. I'm trying to get fit. It's been a month, so I really want to play."

By Steve Goff  |  April 3, 2009; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Soehn Speaks


We're still kinda shorthanded. Good news is our opponent is kind of weak at least on offense. DeRo is gone the Great White North. Ching played almost the full game against T&T in Nashville on Wednesday after going the full 90 in San Salvador. And the new Nigerian/Brit signing will not be ready (whether he'd be useful that soon after arriving is a separate question).

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | April 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Fred, McTavish, and maybe Janicki should probably be on the bench Saturday, not in the starting lineup. Take it easy on them, so we don't have any setbacks. Still, it's good that they're available. Adds depth. Gives Tommy some options.

Posted by: fischy | April 3, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

So, based on the health report, we should probably expect to see the following line-up:

GK: Crayton - If Wicks is injured, Kocic makes the 18 again (1)

DF: Jakovic, Janicki, Namoff - Same as LA Galaxy match. I suspect Burch (2) will be on the bench.

MD: Pontius, Olsen, Simms, Gomez, Wallace - Same as Chicago Fire match. I suspect we'll see either Fred or Quaranta (3) on the bench and maybe as a late sub for one of the rookies. Barklage (4) and Jacobson (5) are also most likely in the 18.

FW: Moreno, Emilio - Same as Chicago Fire match, with Doe (6) and Khumalo (7) on the bench.

Posted by: TCompton | April 3, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to say what kind of lineup we'll see. Crayton seems like a pretty sure thing, with Wicks out. My gut says that Soehn will be more willing to bring Janicki and McTavish in from the start, while Fred would be a likely sub (20-30 minutes). Tino might make the bench, but I figure the team wants to be extra careful with him due to his injury history. He might get 10 minutes if we need him.

If we're staying with the 3412, here's what I think we'll see:

----------- Moreno - Emilio
----------------- Gomez
Wallace - Simms - Olsen - McTavish
------- Jakovic - Janicki - Namoff
----------------- Crayton

I am a little unsure about McTavish over Pontius, as his play has been good and his speed could really trouble Barrett on the left. On the other hand, I don't know if he's yet ready to have Brad Davis as his defensive task. I think we can contain Mullan with Wallace, and I think our numbers in midfield will do well against Clark and Holden. Davis, however, makes me nervous. It could be a situation where Pontius starts, we go for the jugular, and McTavish comes in if we get a 2 goal cushion. Or, McTavish could be held out to replace Olsen. Like I said at the top, it's hard to say.

I think Houston's offense is getting a bit too much of the blame for their lackluster start. They had a 1-0 lead on Columbus, and scored 2 in San Jose (for all their flaws, the Quakes have a solid defense). 3 goals in 2 games, considering their opponents, isn't a bad haul. It's not that great, but it's not bad either. I think the belief is still out there that Houston has a great defense, whereas the reality is that the cracks are starting to show. I'm interested to see how Akinbiyi does for them. I remember reading a bunch of things a few years back about how he was the butt of jokes for being a poor finisher.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 3, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Is Kamara still out on suspension?

Posted by: DadRyan | April 3, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Kamara's suspension was for 2 games, so this is his first game back.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 3, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Chest. Defense starts in the midfield, and while DeRo to Holden is a serious drop, it's still a pretty good set they have.

I'd like to see Pontius get the start over McTavish, he was devastating to the Fire back line last week (and should have been looked to more, I bet Tommy has them looking that way more this week. keep McTavish and Fred as second half subs to help the midfield recover from their seeming inevitable drop off after 50 minutes or so. OF couse we don't know how Benny is really feeling, if he can go 90 again, I bet he'd be looking at more like 65 with either McTavish or Jacobsen spelling him (or I suppose Fred pushing out wide with Wallace if we need the offense.)

I would rather see another tie than risk serious injury to Tino or Fred again, those hammies seem to be awful gimpy.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | April 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Fred and Mctavish making it any futher than the bench. They sound like they aren't ready. Hope Janiki can play.

My fear? That by the time Fred, Tino, Janikci, Mctavish are ready to play... that we'll have three more injured players. Just our luck.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 3, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Copy that Chest_. Interesting that Tommy makes no mention of him in the next thread. He seems focused on Davis and Holden...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 3, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that Tino and Janicki get the start. Pontius can come off the bench for either Tino, or whoever has less energy at forward in the second half. Fred doesn't sound quite ready so I see Wallace starting his 3rd game - not bad for a rookie :)
If Benny gets to start his 3rd straight game (a luxury and surprise), we stay with the 3-5-2, otherwise, Janicki and Jakovic shore up the center of a 4-4-2.

Posted by: dcufan | April 3, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse


I would imagine Kamara isn't as big a concern for Soehn because he and Ching both need service for the most part. If Holden and Davis don't contribute much tomorrow, Houston will be stuck playing long balls to a very tired Ching (assuming he is up for 3 starts in a week) and hoping Kamara or others can get to the second ball. We can't just ignore Kamara, but if we slow their midfield down he's much less dangerous.


You bring up a good point about whether Olsen can go again. He had to come out in LA, and talked about being gassed down the stretch against Chicago. 2 games is a small sample, so we can't take him for granted as a starter.

If he sits, I don't know if we can go 442 yet. There are benefits (Burch would be the left back, adding some size, and Pontius and Wallace would probably torch their outside backs), but Simms and Gomez would be up against Clark and Holden. Simms would have to put on a gargantuan display to cover for Gomez's lower level of defending for us to play Clark and Holden even. Since cutting off service against the Dynamo will give us a great chance of winning the game, I'd rather be able to outnumber their central midfield and hope that Pontius and Wallace get forward enough.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

So Fred is "probable" but Tino is "questionable," and yet Tino seems to be rarin' to go while Fred is more cautious. I would love to see Tino in the lineup with Pontius and Gomez, but he is so damned fragile that spending the match on the bench may be a better idea.

Posted by: b18bolo | April 3, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Where's Khumalo been? In the absence of Fred and Tino, I expected him to be taking full advantage . . . but he's only given a handful of mediocre minutes against LA . . . . he gave a lot of energy last season.

Posted by: delantero | April 3, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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