After the 2013 season, many expected United to be much improved to begin 2014. Unfortunately, with so many new faces on the roster, United won't be afforded much time to gel.
Especially not after United struggled in all facets of the game in their 3-0 loss to Columbus.
Newcomers like midfielder Davy Arnaud and defenders Jeff Parke and Sean Franklin had their struggles, but did offer a few redeeming moments.
Christian struggled mightily in his debut, and his frustrations will eventually earn him a few cards. That has to be troubling for coach Ben Olsen, but he should remain the starting left back for the time being.
On the bright side, newly-acquired striker Eddie Johnson looked like his dangerous self, even without getting consistent service. Johnson will be the focal point of the United attack this season -- at least until the World Cup begins.
D.C. United have the weekend off before their next game at Toronto FC thanks to a fun scheduling quirk on the MLS calendar -- but a league with an odd number of teams will have that. In the mean time, the extra week should help prepare United for this completely retooled Toronto FC squad.
Toronto, which debut their season Saturday against Seattle Sounders, get to show off their shiny new toys in US international Michael Bradley (Roma), England international Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur) and Brazil international Julio Cesar (QPR) against the Sounders.
NEWS AND NOTES:
- United said goodbye to former player, Shawn Kuykendall, who passed after battling thymic cancer.
- Homegrown defender Conor Shanosky had wrist surgery, but is only expected to miss one week.