1. So, uh, yeah... this season hasn't been great for either of us, but notably, you've had a particularly poor one. You've brought in some big signings this summer window — is the expectation that you're playing for a playoff spot now, or are you building the squad for 2018?
No matter what the team might say, there is no chance of D.C. United making the playoffs this season. These signings are all about building for next season, and turning over a roster that was one of the worst in the league this year. Modern MLS teams can't overhaul an entire roster in one window, which is what D.C. United needs to do, so that had to start during this summer window. It will also give players like Paul Arriola, Zoltan Stieber, and Russell Canouse time to acclimate to their new teammates, to life in DC, and to MLS itself, without the pressure of clawing back into a playoff spot. Hopefully, because of this, 2018 will be a return to the top of MLS.
2. Having just ended a six-game losing streak probably has you breathing a sigh of relief. Are you confident of a result against RSL? (If not, maybe you should be. Also, I was at that draw, and I had some good fun in your stadium, even if I felt like I was going to hurl from the seats swaying.)
The bouncing stands is one of the characteristic features of RFK Stadium, even if it is from a flaw in construction, so I'm glad you got to experience it! D.C. United fans, at this point, are never confident, though it looks like Paul Arriola will be starting this weekend. All players not named Bill Hamid should know that, now that the team has spent serious money, similar amounts of money could be spent on replacements for them. Everyone on the team needs to justify their spot on the team down the stretch, and so hopefully that urgency will start to produce better results.
3. Do you go to sleep with dreams about winning the US Open Cup in 2013? No? OK, here's a better question: Of your new players, who could have the biggest impact on Saturday?
Oh, you mean this moment?
mmmmmmm yes. But to your actual question, Ben Olsen has said that one of the four new players signed this week will start on Saturday. As of now, Paul Arriola, Russell Canouse, and Bruno Miranda have been cleared to play, with Zoltan Stieber not yet having the proper paperwork. Out of all of them, only Arriola is 90 minutes fit as he played the full game for Xolos last weekend. He is a lock to start on the right wing, with Canouse likely to get some minutes in the second half. It will be telling to see what Olsen's instructions to Arriola are, and how much he can start to link up with Luciano Acosta and Deshorn Brown.
Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin, Steve Birnbaum, Kofi Opare, Taylor Kemp; Jared Jeffrey, Marcelo Sarvas; Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, Nick DeLeon; Deshorn Brown