Eugene Rupinski, Brotherly Game) How is Philadelphia Union legend Sebastien Le Toux working out in D.C.?
Ben Bromley, Black & Red United) So far he has not made much of a name for himself. He has been second choice at right midfield, behind Lloyd Sam, and his substitute appearances have been effective but not game-changing. However, with D.C. United's offense currently sputtering, he has every opportunity to win a starting spot for this game and punish his old team.
tBG) D.C. United hasn't scored yet in 2017. What is the issue, and how is it being addressed?
B&RU) The issue is all over the field: the midfield hasn't been able to create many chances for the offense (although that has been getting slightly better) and the finishing has been truly bad. To my eye, the biggest problems have been Lloyd Sam, who has not been able to create from the right hand side of midfield, and Marcelo Sarvas, who has not been able to link the back line with the attackers. Sam seemed to look a little better in the last game, so if he can continue that trend he should become effective again soon; Sarvas, on the other hand, has a much bigger step to take to get back to his 2016 level. However, with Rob Vincent injured and Chris Durkin still only 17, it seems like he'll be back in the lineup this week.
Hopefully, the fact that Luciano Acosta has had two full weeks of practice will help as well.
tBG) It's been a tough start for D.C. thus far. What gives United fans hope that this won't be a repeat of the 2013 season?
B&RU) Funnily enough, the fact that gives me the most hope for D.C. United is that they're always bad in March. Since 2000, they have averaged 0.92 ppg in games played in March, so this is some kind of weird trend. In their good seasons, April has been the breakout month (along with May often), so if they're going to turn it around we should know about it soon.
Also, this team has way more talent than that 2013 team: Steve Birnbaum, Lucho Acosta, Patrick Mullins, Ian Harkes, and more are all light years ahead of that team. Even if it were to be a bad year, this team won't be 2013-level bad.
Injuries, suspensions, etc. : Rob Vincent (left knee meniscus) and Patrick Mullins (hamstring) are the two main injuries.
Projected lineup: Bill Hamid; Nick DeLeon, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp; Marcelo Sarvas; Lloyd Sam, Luciano Acosta, Ian Harkes, Patrick Nyarko; Jose Ortiz