So just catching up a little bit after watching almost every single World Cup game televised…

DC United came back last week after the WC break to tie the San Jose Earthquakes (video highlights from DCUnited.com). We are now anxiously awaiting DC United’s newest signings to take the field.

First is Montenegran (is that right?) midfielder Branko BoŇ°kovi?. The just turned 30 year old middie comes from Rapid Vienna in the Austrian League and he will be DC United’s Designated Player. From the looks of it, he’s a two-way player but leans a little more to the offensive side. I’m a big fan of two-way middies, Coach Onalfo is too, and I think that is the way MLS as a whole is going. You don’t see too often a setup like Etcheverry/Williams from back in the glory days. A guy that just does offense is pretty much a liability these days, unless he’s pumping in 10-20 goals per season.

DC United really could use some help in the middle of the field, and I think if this guy pans out he will be a real step in the right direction. Tino wasn’t (and still isn’t) really a wide midfielder. His defense just isn’t there. Pontius to me is still a forward playing left mid (albeit rather well). Najar has been a revelation at right mid, but he’s only 17 so we can’t put too much pressure on him. Simms is the only one where he’s supposed to be, a defensive midfielder who adds the occasional offensive touch. Morsink was just plain awful, which was made even more evident when newcomer Stephen King came in and was an instant upgrade. So i think Boskovic will be an even bigger upgrade over King, leaving Simms to do more of what he does best which is defend.

Soccer Insider and WVHooligan

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXg3XIlo-yk&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuVnUSSEejo&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

The other addition is Argentine-playing-in-Uruguay Pablo Hernandez. Hernandez is 23, and 6ft 180lbs. So he brings a good size, and playing in Uruguay, he should be no stranger to physical play (cough*Castillo*cough). What the team needs is a solid finisher, which is hasn’t had since Emelio’s first season. I’m curious to see what this guy brings to the table. We have a pair of bangers in Cristman and Allsop (Allsop is a “better” version of Cristman, IMO), and a pair of withdrawn forwards (i.e. #9’s) in Pontius and Tino. Then there is Jaime, who has slowed down quite a bit, but in the right circumstances can be a game changer. So where does this guy fit? More of the banger, post-up guy? Or a withdrawn creator type?

Soccer Insider and Penalty Kicks (includes other DCU notes) and DCUnited.com.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJTN927vvlE&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]