D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen is shaking up his lineup for Saturday afternoon’s match against winless Toronto FC at BMO Field. Why? Long-term injuries, short-term injuries and defensive issues.
As expected, Bill Hamid returns to the net for the first time since the MLS season opener. Perry Kitchen, who struggled at center back Wednesday, reclaims the defensive midfield. Lewis Neal makes his first MLS start, on the left flank in place of Nick DeLeon. Andy Najar, who played right back in the second half at San Jose, retains that role in place of Robbie Russell. Chris Korb starts at left back, with Daniel Woolard moving into the middle.
DeLeon and Russell have minor hamstring injuries. Midfielder Marcelo Saragosa isn’t in uniform because of a sore calf. And center backs Emiliano Dudar (hamstring), Dejan Jakovic (ankle) and Ethan White (knee) remain out. Jakovic might be back next weekend at Houston. White has made steady progress but isn’t match fit yet. Dudar probably needs another week.
So there you have it.
My match preview is available here.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET.
TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus in the D.C. area (channel guide), Direct Kick and MLS Live. Comcast SportsNet’s main outlet will join the match in progress following its Washington Capitals’ postgame show.
DCU: Hamid; Najar, McDonald, Woolard, Korb; Cruz, Kitchen, De Rosario, Neal; Santos, Pontius. Subs: Willis, Russell, King, Morsink, Boskovic, Wolff, Salihi.
TFC: Kocic; Eckersley, Henry, Aceval, Morgan; Frings, de Guzman, Silva; Lambe, Johnson, Avila. Subs: Roberts, Hall, Harden, Cann, Dunfield, Burgos, Plata.
Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome in our comments section.