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D.C. United 2016 Season Preview

Posted By: Chris Ransom on 2/16/2016

The D.C. United had one of the best turnarounds in 2014. D.C. United only had 3 wins in 2013, but they had 59 points and the best record in the Eastern Conference in 2014. D.C. United had a complete team, but you could say the same for the New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution. In 2015, the D.C. United got off to a strong start and defeated the New England Revolution in a wild card game, but lost to the Red Bulls once again in the divisional round.

Forward Fabian Espindola is the teams main striker. He had 11 goals and 9 assists in 2014. Espindola had 5 goals and 7 assists in 2015 even with injuries and suspensions. Chris Rolfe led D.C. United with 10 goals in 2015. Despite losing four forwards for depth, the D.C. United have a solid pair of strikers in Espindola and Rolfe when healthy as both Rolfe and Espindola can be used as main strikers or secondary strikers.

Eddie Johnson retired and D.C. United also lost Luis Silva, Chris Pontius, and Perry Kitchen. D.C. United trade for three midfielders in Lamar Neagle from the Seattle Sounders, Patrick Nyarko who can play left wing where Johnson played and then D.C. United got Marcelo Sarvas from the Colorado Rapids. They also got Lucianao Acosta on a loan from Boca Juniors to fill a rolle at attacking midfielder.

Defensive midfielder Nick DeLeon provides a lot of depth and stability and is capable of generating assists to create scoring chances. DeLeon was third in assists behind Taylor Kemp and Fabian Espindola.

While Nick DeLeon provides insurance up front, this team has 4 defensemen on the back line that can ball. D.C. United brought in 2 free agents prior to the 2014 season when they added center back Bobby Boswell from the Houston Dynamo and right back Sean Franklin from the Los Angeles Galaxy. D.C. United drafted two good defensemen in the first round with 2013 first round pick Taylor Kemp from Maryland and center back Steve Birnbaum out of California in the 2014 MLS Super Draft. These guys have been on the back line for the last two seasons now and nothing has changed in that regard. That familiarity on defense will eventually help the D.C. United make an MLS Cup run.

Goalie Bill Hamid had 110 saves in 2014. Hamid had 101 saves on 133 shot attempts along with 8 shutouts in 2015.

Prediction: I picked D.C. United to win the Eastern Conference in the preseason in 2015. Once the New York Red Bulls surpassed them in the standings, it looked like the New York Red Bulls would control their own destiny. D.C. United finally won a playoff game with this core group, but lost to the Red Bulls once again. D.C. United has the familiarity on defense and at goalie to make the Eastern Conference Finals, but can this offense provide enough depth and scoring to compliment their defense. That's what will determine how successful the D.C. United are in 2016. I think they are capable of winning the Eastern Conference, but at the same time the offense cannot be carried by just Rolfe and Espindola plus they have to defeat the Red Bulls if they want the Eastern Conference. The midfielders they traded for have to do something especially with Julian Buescher their 2016 first round pick not coming up this year.

Eastern Conference

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