*D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen has fielded numerous lineup combinations, but as the MLS season rolls into the late stages, he will have to settle on a regular group.
“It’s tough. I am mixing up guys all the time,” he said after Tuesday’s training session. “We still haven’t narrowed down to our starting 11, after all this, which is a good and bad thing. It’s good in the sense we have a lot of options. It’s bad because eventually you want to get that 11 down and working with it consistently.”
Only Dwayne De Rosario has started every league match. Sixteen players have started at least seven times.
*Olsen has been keeping a close eye on Andy Najar at the Olympics with Honduras, which is in prime position to advance to the quarterfinals.
“I am excited for them to move on. It would be nice to have him here, but I hope he goes as long as he can.”
The Catrachos play Japan in their group finale Wednesday in Coventry. If they advance, they’ll play a quarterfinal in Manchester or Newcastle on Saturday, perhaps against Brazil.
Najar played 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw with Morocco and 57 in a 1-0 upset of Spain.
*Signs of progress under United’s new investment team: Five additional matches have been added to the TV slate on Comcast SportsNet. (United covers a large portion of production costs for televised matches.)
*Standard paperwork will prevent newly acquired Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto from joining the club for another week or two.
*Striker Hamdi Salihi has been called up by Albania for a friendly against Moldova on Aug. 15, which is a FIFA fixture date. United plays on Aug. 11 and 19. Dwayne De Rosario and Dejan Jakovic seem likely to join Canada for a match against Trinidad and Tobago on the same day in Florida. DCU is awaiting word on Branko Boskovic for Montenegro against Latvia and any possible U.S. call-ups for the friendly against Mexico at Azteca Stadium.
*The friendly against Paris Saint-Germain was scheduled to go to penalty kicks immediatley after the 1-1 draw, but because of the 45-minute weather delay and PSG’s travel plans, the tiebreaker was cancelled.
*Two postponed reserve matches have been rescheduled: Sept. 11 vs. Montreal Impact at the RFK training grounds and Oct. 9 at Philadelphia.
*Former Washington Diplomats forward Paul Cannell, who has written a tell-all memoir about his days in the North American Soccer League, will hold a book signing Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Black Rooster Pub at 1919 L Street NW in Washington.