Of course last nights U.S. Open Cup play in match was going to be important for DC United, the current holders of the Cup didn't make the automatic tournament as an MLS side since they didn't make the MLS playoffs last year, so they have had to play through the play-in rounds. Coach Tommy Soehn would normally play reserves or lesser played players and he did, but proving just how deep the United Squad is this year, Clyde Simms, Luciano Emilio, Louis Crayton and Dejan Jakovic didn't even dress for the match. Jaime Moreno and Santino Quaranta didn't even make it off the bench and DC United still pounded in four goals in the first 26 minutes and won the match 5-3.
Cementing his already solid claim to Rookie of the Year, Chris Pontius netted a brace and had an asssit as well as finding himself starting in yet another position, the deeper, holding midfield role normally played by Clyde Simms. If my count is correct, Pontius has not played four different positions this year and has five goals in all competitions (I think).
The United midfield and attacking lines are looking very good for the squad moving into the hard summer months when not only will the MLS schedule start running hard, but also the CONCACAF Champions League will get busy and United will need that depth and good play to do well. United still look shockingly fragile in the back though. I know Soehn likes to play the 3-5-2 and usually it works well for him. But the defense is simply letting too much through. I know Soehn played the kids last night, but the squad needs to work on their defense.
On the plus side, at least DC United didn't have to come from behind last night.