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Andy Najar out, Chris Pontius in for D.C. United

Andy Najar, the 17-year-old midfielder who started D.C. United's opener and entered in the second half of the second match, did not accompany the club north for Saturday's MLS match against the expansion Philadelphia Union at Lincoln Financial Field because of a sore ankle. He jogged on the side at training Thursday.

Forward Chris Pontius, who sat out Thursday's practice with a hamstring ailment, did travel with United and will be available for selection. However, my hunch is that he might yield his starting job to Danny Allsopp, the Australian forward who has been sharp in training and scored twice in Monday's reserve match.

Meantime, the Union announced the signing of defender Cristian Arrieta, 30, who had been on trial with the club the past two weeks. He is eligible to play Saturday.

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By Steve Goff  |  April 9, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: Chris Pontius, DC United, Danny Allsopp, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia Union  
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Comments

It's about time Allsopp cracked the starting line-up. Let's hope the team can somehow find the back of the net.

Posted by: nairbsod | April 9, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

So....


----------------Perkins-------------------
---McTavish---Jaks----Pena-----Wallace----
----------------Morsink-------------------
---Barklage------Tino----------Castillo---
------------Allsopp--Moreno---------------

Reserves: Hamid, Pontius, Khumalo, Cristman, James, Talley, .... Shipalane? Another defender - Rice or Adams?

Posted by: the_slammer | April 9, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

While I don't really have a problem with him not starting, Pontius needs to see the pitch in every match where he's not injured. Same goes for Wallace. They were the 2 bright spots last year. We're not going to content for a title this year. They need to see the pitch.

Posted by: Matte | April 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

My bet, Moreno won't start. He will come on in second half to give United another look. Cristman will start with Allsop if Pontius is iffy.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | April 9, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Ives is reporting Union are looking into Ruiz. Think this is just a move to try to ease negotiations with DC for Emilio?

Posted by: FatSickBoot | April 9, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Took a long time for Philly to announce what was written about in Primera Hora a week ago by Esteban Pagan, one of Puerto Rico's best soccer journalists.

He was all over the story.

As a Puerto Rico Islanders fan I wish Cristian Arrieta all the best. He was an absolute joy to have in our colors the last couple of years. He is well loved in Puerto Rico and by Islanders' fans who live abroad. Good player, great guy.

I am obviously very biased but I think that he was a very, very good pick up for Philly.

I will be very curious to see if Nowak lets him push forward as much he did when he played for PR. He was one of the best offensive threats on the team, pushing up from his back position.
(As a DC United fan, I hope that he starts tomorrow and has a terrible game whenever faces DC).

Posted by: yankiboy | April 9, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The midfield and forward positions could use some shuffling. Quaranta can't play as a playmaker, not because he has no skill, but because he's far too direct; patience is not his strong suit. He's either a forward or a winger.

I'd also like to get a look at both Pontius and Barklage in central midfield (not as a #10). They both are industrious, have good field vision, would be interesting. Unlike Q, they can actually think about the play before taking action.

Allsop and Cristman are about to be tested, and it's about time. We need to know which position to spend on in the future.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 9, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I like this one, Talley wasn't that bad . . . or am I suffering from early dementia/hope? I think McTavish's work rate might be better at d-mid . . he might get too exposed at R back. Pontius? I think he'd benefit from some touches away from goal.

----------------Perkins-------------------
---Talley---Jaks----Pena-----Wallace----
----------------McTavish-------------------
---Pontius------Tino----------Castillo---
------------Allsopp--Moreno---------------

Posted by: delantero | April 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Delantero's lineup, switching P and Q.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | April 9, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Delantero's lineup, switching P and Q.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals

Well, I hope you mind them.

Posted by: Reignking | April 9, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

at least we'll get to watch the game on tv this time. I still don't know who I'd like to blame for the team's performance so far.

Posted by: hungrypug | April 9, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

i know he probably can't do it for 90 minutes, but didn't they toy with the idea of Jaime in the central role during the preseason? they could leave Pontius up top with Allsopp and push Tino back to the right side. then if/when Jaime has to come out, you can put Tino in the middle with Khumalo or Barklage on the right depending on needs of the game.

also agree with Matte that Wallace and Pontius should be on the field as much as possible.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | April 9, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I just hope that Onalfo starts adjusting sooner rather than the end of the season when all hope is lost.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | April 9, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

In a battle between teams who have been completely incapable of scoring:

---------------Perkins----------------
--------James--Jakovic--Pena----------
--McTavish-------------------Wallace--
--------------Barklage----------------
----Quaranta------------Castillo------
----------Allsopp--Moreno-------------

Call it a 3-5-2 or a 5-3-2. McTavish and Wallace function as wingbacks (both have the stamina, pace, and box-to-box capabilities).

With Barklage being a much better option at CM than Morsink (again, a better 2-way box-to-box player) linking the defense and attack.

Tino and Castillo take the ball from the flanks and dribble at the defenders, dropping the ball to the top of the box for Moreno and Alsopp to hammer home.

Would Onalfo do this? Never.

What will we actually see?

---------------Perkins-------------
Talley---Jakovic-----Pena---Wallace
-----------Morsink--Barklage-------
Quarant--------------------Castillo
-----------Moreno--Alsopp----------

Posted by: alecw81 | April 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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