Sunday, February 27, 2011

What to Expect From DC United

Well we are less than one week away from the beginning of the Charleston Battery's season. It has been way too long. I'm really excited about the upcoming season, and the Carolina Challenge Cup is always the perfect way to kick off the season. And the Coffee Pot Cup is up for grabs also, as DC United is coming to town for the Battery's first match up of the year. Here's what to expect from United:

DC is going to definitely be making some noise in the MLS this season, mainly because of the addition of Charlie Davies which rounds out the attack with last year's MLS Rookie of the Year, Andy Najar. Najar was the leading goal scorer for DC last year, with 5 goals in the league. Australian Danny Allsopp scored 8 goals in all competitions last year for DC, and now plays for Melbourne Victory in the Australian A-League. Argentinian, Pablo Hernandez played with Allsopp up front, but was on loan from Uruguayan club, Defensor Sporting. Davies will be able to fill Hernandez's role as a playmaker, but will also bring the goal scoring aspect of his game to DC. Davies will be one of the best players in the MLS this year.

Last year, United ran a diamond 4-4-2, with Allsopp and Hernandez up front. The midfield consisted of Americans, Santino Quaranta and Stephen King, along with Costa Rican Kurt Mosink, and Andy Najar. Quaranta was at the top of the diamond, with King and Mosink in the middle two spots, and Andy Najar at the back. The backline consisted of Americans, Devon Mctavish and Jed Zayner at fullbacks, and Julius James and Dejan Jakovic as the centre backs.

This year, we can expect the same diamond 4-4-2 formation from United. Joseph Ngwenya is joining DC from Houston, and should be expected to start for DC in a considerable amount of matches. Davies will play with Ngwenya as a forward. The midfield is a little more confusing. Najar is the only definate starter (probably starting at the back of the diamond), and Branko Bošković is a solid attacking midfielder, and should fill the front of the diamond nicely. The rest of the midfield looks a little fuzzy, though Dax McCarty looks like a front runner for a starting spot. Other candidates for the last 2 spots at midfield include Clyde Simms, who as been with United since 2005, Brazilian, Junior Carreiro, Kurt Morsink, and Conor Shanosky. Zayner and Marc Burch look like a locks for the back line (probably at fullbacks), with Rodrigo Brasesco, Dejan Jakovic, and recently drafted Chris Korb all fighting for the two centre back positions. It is not known at the moment who will play in goal, though the four candidates seem to be Pat Onstad, Joe Willis, Steve Cronin, and from their own academy, Bill Hamid.

This will be, as always, an interesting match up for the Battery. I am indescribably excited to see DC and Charlie Davies come to Charleston. Once we learn more about the Battery's roster, we will see how well the Battery will be able to compete with DC United.

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