DC United get rained out over the weekend.By: Josh | March 5th, 2012
DC United’s match with the Columbus Crew was canceled due to rain. It would have been United’s last match of the preseason against a Columbus Crew side that finished fourth in the Eastern Conference last year. It rounds up the Carolina Challenge Cup also. With two wins, United win the cup and look good starting out the year against the current Eastern Conference champs, Sporting Kansas City.
But what did we learn at the Carolina Challenge Cup?
The defense looks much stronger.
United only let one goal through in their two matches despite being peppered with shots against the Chicago Fire. With two trialist’s competing with Daniel Woolard for the left back role, we could see that spot hopefully mad solid. The middle of the defense has three people competing for the two spots, which could really create a solid defense. Emiliano Dudar was solid when he came on and Dejan Jakovic and Brandon McDonald were solid despite facing pressure. Despite Bill Hamid being the starting keeper, Joe Willis also put in a great showing in net. The keeper showed depth for the keeper position and should prove a good asset when Hamid is out for whatever reason.
Hamdi Salihi is for real.
Salihi’s scoring record in Europe shows he is of quality, but his goal-a-game average in the Carolina Challenge Cup despite not playing much shows that he will be a pest for opposing defenses. The Crew game being canceled is a drag because his runs are much different then you will see from an American and will take time to get some good chemistry. Him and Dwayne de Rosario should be interesting, and if played well, could be the top attack force in the East.
United have depth.
The defense looks stronger now that they have more depth, but so does the midfield. The addition of Danny Cruz ads depth and keeps the midfield interesting in case Andy Najar or Chris Pontius start to slip up. Cruz started all four games on Houston’s run to the MLS Cup. Already mentioned is the defense and the goal keeper. Questions will remain at attack though as United don’t have a great threat behind Salihi and no striker to line up beside him.
The season starts in five days. Get ready.