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Who do you think We'll See Tonight in the USOC Play-in Match?

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Two and a half hours till game time. You have no idea how much I wish I were going. But to take my mind off my severe depression, I'll drink lots of good Italian wine at dinner talk about a couple of things.

First: here's the MLS 101 post I did as an intro to the US Open Cup a few weeks ago. And for the record, this is a US Open Cup play-in game. It's not an official Open Cup game, and it won't get us into the Cup; it will merely gain us the right to play Colorado, with the winner of that match playing in the official Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

Second: Why do you think will play?

One we won't see: Freddie Ljungberg, who's in Sweden at his grandmother's funeral.

Others I don't expect to see: Tyrone Marshall (at 34, he's probably way beyond the two-games-a-week stage.) Sigi also intimated that those who've taken knocks recently will be evaluated and probably rested. I'd guess this would definitely be Osvaldo Alonso, and possibly Jhon Kennedy Hurtado as well. (Because our guys would never go down in the last couple of minutes of the game just to waste time.)

But this isn't a reserve game, and there is a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League at stake, at least eventually, so I'd expect to see a few starter holdovers from Saturday. My guesses (which could be completely wrong): Fredy Montero, because he needs the confidence of a goal or two. Brad Evans, in the middle (because if Alonso and both central defenders are out, somebody has to hold together the midfield.) James Riley (because you can't really swap out all four defenders from Saturday. Can you?) And I think Eylander will get the nod; he was player of the tournament last year. But on the other hand I wouldn't be surprised to see Kasey in there to make up for all the inexperience there is elsewhere.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the return of some injured players, like Pete Vagenas, Jarrod Smith and Taylor Graham. And Sanna Nyassi and Sebastien Le Toux could use some prime time work, and I'm sure Zach Scott would love the chance to prove he's worthy of being a regular starter again. And why not start Roger Levesque?

So maybe something like this?

------------Montero (or Smith)-----Levesque-----------

Nyassi----Evans------Vagenas----Le Toux

Scott-----Graham-----Ianni---------Riley (or Wahl)

---------------Eylander (or Keller)---------------------

What do you think?

I think this lineup would give up a few goals, but they could score a few, too. (Although we can hope that RSL used up their quota of goals for the month with their 6-0 drubbing of New England last weekend. Because I'm pretty sure they can't have too many left after that.)