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D.C. United news & notes

Excuse the absence. Technical issues have prevented me from updating the blog. Let's see if the problems have been repaired (holding breath).....

Greetings from sunny RFK Stadium. United went through a light session this morning in preparation for the Saturday night match against the Chicago Fire.

Midfielder Brandon Barklage, who missed much of the week after bumping heads with a Philadelphia player, was upgraded to probable but seems unlikely to make a third consecutive start.

My hunch is that Santino Quaranta will play wide right, Chris Pontius (no goals) will drop from forward to left wing, Andy Najar will replace Quaranta in the middle and Jaime Moreno will pair with Danny Allsopp up front. If that occurs, Barklage and Christian Castillo would be out of the lineup.

As you know, Dejan Jakovic and Juan Manuel Pena, the central defensive duo, are out with a suspension and hamstring injury, respectively. Rookie defender Barry Rice is also out, with a concussion. I'm anticipating Carey Talley and Julius James in the middle with Devon McTavish on the right.

In assessing the personnel options, I counted 27 players on the squad -- one above the MLS limit of 24 plus two homegrown signings. It turns out, goalkeeper Josh Wicks was placed on injured reserve before the season, opening a roster slot. With little mention of him in weeks, it has become pretty clear that the club will move on without him. When that becomes official is unclear. [UPDATE: Wicks was released late this afternoon. His representative says he has one option on the table but is looking at other situations.]

Midfielder Tiyi Shipalane has been loaned to third-division Richmond this weekend.

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By Steve Goff  |  April 16, 2010; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: Brandon Barklage, Carey Talley, Chicago Fire, D.C. United, Devon McTavish, Jaime Moreno, Josh Wicks, MLS, Santino Quaranta, Soccer  
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Comments

Our attacking midfielder, the engine that ignites our offense is 17 years old. Just watch, we put four in on Saturday night. Good luck Andy, make us proud.

Posted by: tcbannon | April 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

A 17-year-old rookie as our center mid. What could go wrong?

Posted by: Reignking | April 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

When you're lying in the gutter at least you know which way is up...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

So Castillo could be dropped after three matches - even with an injury riddled, weak squad - in front of paying Salvadorans in the home crowd?

Posted by: Kev29 | April 16, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

When you're lying in the gutter at least you know which way is up...

Posted by: DadRyan | April 16, 2010 2:29 PM

Wasn't that Kasey Kasem's catch-phrase?

Posted by: Kev29 | April 16, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, I don't think Najar will be the playmaker in any realistic sense. He and Morsink will be dual holding midfieldes, with Najar being the one that goes forward more.

Still, any formation with Quaranta where he's always belonged is an improvement. It was no coincidence that our one good spell against Philly came after he was moved to the wing.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | April 16, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I was among those who thought Tino might be able to handle central midfield duties, but after that brief experiment, glad he's likely to be out wide again. I am not ready to give up on Pontius as a forward, still think he could be an above average MLS striker, and maybe better than that with experience, but Castillo has been disappointing. That being said, I really haven't liked what I have seen from Morsink at all so he would be the one I would sit first, but not sure who could replace him if Barklgae is not ready to go 90. And let's not talk about the back line...Vamos United

Posted by: assocfoot | April 16, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@Kev -- No one's "dropping" Castillo, but he's definitely played his way to the bench. I would expect he'll come on as a sub, if some pace is needed.

I'm wondering about the injured players. Simms will miss likely miss six games. He could be put on the short-term injured list. Namoff will surely miss that many games, if he's even able to return this year. Burch should surely be on the injured list. I had assumed that Wicks, Namoff and Burch were on the IR list. Why isn't the team filling these slots? They had three trialists -- Junior, Jarra and Drew Yates. No signings there. How can they leave so many potential slots unfilled? Are they saving cap room, by not signing fill-ins? I'd be OK with that, except that Kasper intimates that the team won't be going after big names this summer.

Makes me want to bang my head against a wall. Goff, please -- before the season is out, find out where the team stands vis a vis the cap.

Posted by: fischy | April 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Glad I cut Castillo last week!

Posted by: Reignking | April 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

fischy - how is that not being dropped? If you're not good enough to hold your natural position... After coming in as a fairly high profile loan signing and starting the first three matches. We'll see if it happens (I'm a cynic, I think he plays at home in front of his paying countrymen). I did not expect to see him lose his place in the starting 11 this early.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 16, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I think that Khumalo would be a better option than throwing a 17 year old to the wolves (or in this case throwing him into the fire). Logan Pause is going to have a field day and the two Fire forwards are going to score 2-3 goals. I like the Fire in this one 4-1.

Posted by: no_recess | April 16, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I can't promise that a 17 yr. old is going to succeed in his first outing running the central midfield, but I watched Najar and Khumalo on the same field on Sunday. Najar is better. Boyzzz is really fast, but he lacks the creativity, the skill and understanding Najar already has. I don't know how he'll do tomorrow, but I think he might be the long-term answer there. If the team doesn't go out and sign a talented, proven CAM, I think Najar will have to be the solution. He could be a good winger, but he can be a good CAM, too.

Posted by: fischy | April 16, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Wicks is Sacked.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | April 16, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

To pile on what fischy said, why not? Maybe Andy will be good at the CAM role. What have we got to loose?

In this case, hope is the strategy.

Posted by: tcbannon | April 16, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

WTOP just reported that Wicks has been released.

Posted by: soccerman | April 16, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Just met Perkins at the register at Whole Foods in Old Town (he was buying stuff too, not the clerk). It was a bit awkward as I wanted to say something nice, but couldn't think of anything. So I reached out my hand to shake. A minute later I said "I hope they get you some help." He replied " We're alright" and something else that I didn't hear the end of, but think was "We just need to put some plays together....Have a good one."

Seeing a player up close makes me wanna pull for them a bit more. Maybe If I take a Bad News Bears perspective, I can get motivated to get out and support them.

Posted by: united100 | April 16, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little scared that a team this thin on talent is at the maximum roster size. Really? 27 players total (including Wicks)? [scratches head]

I want to see Tino back on the wing. I think he can play in the middle, but not with this group of players. Not enough talent covering the rest of the midfield.

Can we please find a replacement for Morsink? Anyone want to vote for McTavish there (when he's not filling in at Right back)?

Posted by: DWE4 | April 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Agree, why not throw Najar out there? He seems to be one of our most creative players, lets see what he's got. A lot of great soccer players started out at his age. We can't keep relying on Jaime as out only possession and creativity player.
And maybe coming on as a sub will be good for Castillo. Think it will take him a few more games to catch on to the MLS style of play.
I'll be there Saturday, Vamos United!

Posted by: Irrlicht | April 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Its too bad moreno cant pass and setup like el diablo because thats where we need it the most right now. Najar....sure why not, i would even put castillo in there for laughs since he hasent done much on the flank. I hate to say this but i will be surprised if we score one goal. We are going to need Perkins in top form to pull anything positive out of this one...chi-town 3-0.

Posted by: g3impreza | April 16, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

We have no midfield.We have no playmaking center mid. What are the FO and Chang thinking? What were they thinking all winter. Bring back Gomez. and Emilio (10 goals!)
Milan? Don't be a sucker and pay good money for a light workout by the visitors.

Posted by: lemovs1 | April 16, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Starting a 17 year old at CAM.

Good job Coach Onalfo, good job............

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | April 16, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least we finally dumped wicks. I'm still upset about his stomping incident last year. To say that I am disappointed with out roster would be an understatement. How I long for the glory years.

Posted by: nyjer1 | April 16, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry that Josh Wicks got sacked. He is a good goalie, far better than the one we have in now. Why do we have to trash the team every year? It makes no sense. Every year we have totally different players with a few hold overs. In July, those that aren't down injured will be and we will get a new group of players then. Who is making these decisions and why??????

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 16, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The guys don't look like they are in condition for the games. Why??? If they were less of them would be injured.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | April 16, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Pontius should play in central midfield, not Najar (off the bench, wide). Its too early in the season to drop Castillo, give him time. I'd like to see Quaranta and Allsopp paired up front, but respect demands Moreno starts. The defence is makeshift - but why isn't Adams in the mix?

Posted by: oz4dcu | April 16, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Its an interesting move to put Castillo on the bench, I wonder how the Salvadorian community will react. I remember the home opener when Castillo was subbed a lot of the salvadorians began to walk out. One guy was mad they were walking out so he tried to convince them they just waived one finger and said no. No love for United just Castillo.
Haha

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | April 16, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Is Shipalane being loaned out for a single game or for the entire season? I've read differing reports and want clarification.

Posted by: jason1551 | April 17, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

are we really this bad that a 17 year old high school player starts at central midfield? what ever happened to the DC United management that knew how to put a team together? It has been all downhill since the foolish dismembering of the team a few years ago. Time for a change.

Posted by: macheath | April 17, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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