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Mar 29, 2008 

D.C. Is Ready To Return To Its Title-Winning Pedigree

D.C. United forward and reigning MLS MVP Luciano Emilio aims to lead the Red-and-Black to the top


2006 Record: 16-7-7, 55 points (1st in Eastern Conference)
Head coach: Tom Soehn
In: Marcelo Gallardo, Jose Carvallo, Gonzalo Peralta, Gonzalo Martinez, Franco Niell.
Out: Christian Gomez (COL), Bobby Boswell (HOU), Greg Vanney (LA), Brian Carroll (CLB), Troy Perkins.

Starting Lineup: Zach Wells; Bryan Namoff, Gonzalo Peralta, Marc Burch, Gonzalo Martinez; Ben Olsen, Clyde Simms, Marcelo Gallardo, Fred; Jaime Moreno, Luciano Emilio.

Strengths: More than any other club, D.C.'s aim is CONCACAF dominance. They put their money where their ambitions lie. A year after picking up sterling forward Emilio, the club one-upped itself with the league's most impressive acquisition in Gallardo. The Argentine's propensity for finding the open man wherever that person is camped, should make this team free-wheeling and excitiement. Even before Gallardo, D.C.'s attack was apt to control the ball and pace at a high quality and should only get better.

Weaknesses: Zach Wells in goal is only a weakness because he hasn't been given the opportunity to showcase his talents in two previous stops. He may not get many shots on goal with D.C. ball possession prowess. While the newest contingent of South Americans in D.C. looks impressive, such a influx of foreign talent needs to watched.

Outlook: After winning the last two supporters shields, D.C. is ready to take the reins of the East from New England. The front office is clearly focused on not just winning the MLS Cup, but every other title in the Northern Hemisphere. Forget Blanco, forget Beckham, Gallardo is the high-priced designated player that will wow the league.

Prediction: 1st in Eastern Conference; MLS Cup champions.

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