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Atlanta United at D.C. United: Three Questions

with SB Nation’s Black and Red United

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Christos FC at D.C. United Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

To get everyone ready for tonight’s midweek match against D.C. United, we spoke with Black and Red United’s Ben Bromley to get his take on their struggles, potential lineup changes, and his main takeaways midway through the season.

DSS: D.C. United has been struggling to say the least. What's your main concern with the club?

BARU: Basically everything. The team can't score goals (having scored ten (10) all year. The team's midfield is just adequate, and can't really string passes together; and they need excellent defensive midfielder to make this group work. And the team's best defender has been one of the fullbacks. They've already started to try and turn the team around with the signing of Deshorn Brown, who is eligible to play tonight, but they need more. They definitely need a defensive midfielder and a center back (unless Ben Olsen wants to see if Jalen Robinson can get the job done) and another attacker would probably be useful as well.

DSS: Since it's a midweek match and both clubs are coming off Saturday matches, should we expect anything outside the norm when it comes to D.C.'s lineup?

BARU: There will probably be some rotation, but not as much as one might think: there are plenty of potential starters that are just starting to rejoin the team's practices, so they won't be available for this game. I'd expect Chris Odoi-Atsem to spell Chris Korb, and Sebastien LeToux may give Lloyd Sam a break, but that is probably about it. In a couple weeks, once Sean Franklin, Nick DeLeon, and Rob Vincent are training fully and ready to go, there may be some changes, but they aren't ready yet.

DSS: What are your biggest takeaways midway through the season?

BARU: D.C. United's worst seasons come when they don't add skill to put pressure on the incumbent starters, and that is primarily what they did this year. They locked down the team that caught fire at the end of last year, but many of the key guys were already over 30 and are now slipping. D.C. United is one of the best at course corrective signings midseason, but they're going to have a large hole to make up.