Thursday, March 17, 2011
Two Days To United's 2011 First Kick
With just two days to go before the start of the season for DC United, the anticipation is almost overwhelming. DC United have increased their public profile in recent months by ramping up PR across the region. Meet the Coach events, happy hour with some players, revealing the new all-red kit at a car show, even commandeering U street's Ben's Chili Bowl for St. Patrick's Day. It is clear DC United is trying to reinvigorate public support.
Despite the public efforts, all of this will be a wasted effort if the team fails to perform on the field. Charlie Davies's loan has provided an enormous boost to ticket sales according to team officials, but if they do not start the season strong, the specter (and bad luck) of last year's poor performances can return to wreak havoc.
Ben Olsen has done a great job assembling this team however and his work ethic seems to have already transcended onto his team. Midfielder Dax McCarty promises to anchor the center of the field with a burst of energy that drove Dallas FC for several years and a young US National team in January exhibition games. Add a recovering Davies (still with something to prove) and a strong forward like Joseph Ngwenya, and you now have an attacking core that will give defenders different things to worry about. Add to that, a strong support cast of wingers and defenders, and what you have is a young team that has every reason to at least qualify for the playoffs.
PREDICTION: Against a Columbus Crew that is looking to find its identity, DC United will win their home game 2-1 on Saturday night.