Wednesday, August 23, 2006

DC United Preview - USOC 8/23/2006

DC United vs. Red Bull New York
Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Quarter Final
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Return of the King? Revenge of the Sith? Return of The Bitter One is more like it.

Tonight DC United host Red Bull New York in a USOC Quarter Final clash. This marks the 4th meeting of the two clubs this year, first in the USOC tournament. A United victory will most likely see United play against the winner of the Chicago Fire/New England Revolution Quarter Final match-up that also takes place today. The location of that match has yet to be determined.

The big thing about tonight's match-up is the return of The Bitter One, Bruce Arena. Arena was the first coach of DC United, and has basically been the Don Corleone figure of DC United ever since he left the United Trophy case filled with 2 MLS Cups, a US Open Cup, a CONCACAF Champions Cup and an Interamerican Cup. Now Arena returns to RFK, except he is the coach of the Red Bulls, which are the most hated rivals of DC United.

Ok, so what the hell is going on in the DC United dressing room? They lose to RSL 2-1, attack with passion against the Crew in the 4th round of the USOC, play a spirited and wonderful match against Real Madrid, draw in a listless 0-0 match against RBNY, play one of the worst halves of soccer I have seen from a Nowak coached United side against Colorado, to come alive in the second half. Hopefully the signs of life in the second half of the Rapids match carry over into tonight's match.

Several players have said that last years disappointments in all Cup competitions has been weighing on their minds for this season. They want to win everything that they are in this season, so winning the USOC is a priority for the players. An important step in rectifying the failures of last season will be taken tonight by defeating the Red Bulls. Advancing to the Semi-Finals of the USOC will be an improvement over last seasons 4th round crash, but winning the silverware will erase the taste in their mouths.

Peter Nowak should be able to get the guys up for this one, as this is the perfect chance for them to eff up and get knocked off by the Arizona Cardinals of MLS. I feel that as long as United plays as they did against the Crew at the Soccerplex and as they did against the Rapids in the second half on Saturday, they will send the Bovine back up I-95 with a loss and move on to the Semi-Finals of the USOC.

So who do you play? I would use this starting line-up:


Namoff - Boswell - Erpen

Carroll - Simms

Gros - Adu - Olsen

Head Gear - Moreno

Give Nicky one more start. He did himself well against Columbus and lets have him get himself 90 more minutes. The back three should remain the same as we have had for the season. Carroll and Simms should start in the defensive midfield slots. Have Josh and Benny fill the offensive midfield roles, with Fred taking the Gomez slot, assuming that Gomez is held out due to his tendon strain from Saturday.
Use Walker, Dyachenko, Stokes and Mediate as the subs (USOC you get 4 subs).

Prediction: DC United 2 - 0 Red Bull New York


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