Today's starting lineup for a 12:30 p.m. game D.C. United and it doesn't include captain and veteran defender Francisco Calvo.
Coach Adrian Heath has kept intact the same backline he used in Wednesday's scoreless draw with L.A. Galaxy, when Calvo and midfielder Jan Gregus were suspended for red cards collected the game before in a 4-3 loss at Toronto.
Gregus returns to a starter's role beside Ozzie Alonso in the midfield, but Eric Miller will stay in Calvo's left-back spot alongisde Brent Kallman, Ike Opara and Romain Metanire.Center back Michael Boxall is a sub for a second consecutive game after his error gave Toronto the winning goal there two games ago.
Calvo is not among a substitute group consisting of Boxall, Kevin Molino, Hassani Dotson, Ethan Finlay, Miguel Ibarra and Romario Ibarra..
When asked about today's lineup, Heath said this:
"I thought the back four was really good the other night. We've spoke long and hard about keeping a clean sheet. I think it would have been pretty hypocritical if I'd been talking clean sheet-clean sheet-clean sheet, then we get a clean sheet and we go and change it.
"Eric is a good defender. He has had a good defensive mentality. That's what he has always had. He thinks more defensive than attacking. That's probably one of the reasons."
Miller hadn't played a minute yet this season before he started Wednesday and played all 90 minutes.
"I was talking to people in England about the way the game is changing and about the lack of true defenders," Heath said. "People who actually go, `I'm a defender first and I'll join in second,' that might be a bonus. But Eric has that mentality. That's the way he was brought up. That's the way he is. Certain games it might not be what we're looking for, but the fact that we just had a clean sheet and handled Zlatan really, really well and reduced a really good Galaxy team to very, very few chances, I felt I need to give them the confidence to go again."
Heath often says the coach picks players but players drop themselves with their performances, of lack thereof.
Calvo's red card in Toronto came after what Heath called a "silly" decision by Calvo to sweep at the legs of an opponent late in the game after United lost a 3-2 lead. It was his second yellow card of the game, which earned him the red card.
Here's the way the Loons' lineup looks today, much like Wednesday's game except for Gregus' return:
9 Angelo Rodriguez
99 Abu Danladi 25 Darwin Quintero
8 Jan Gregus 6 Ozzie Alonso 20 Rasmus Schuller
4 Eric Miller 14 Brent Kallman 3 Ike Opara 19 Romain Metanire
1 Vito Mannone
Substitutes: Michael Boxall, Kevin Molino, Hassani Dotson, Ethan Finlay, Romario Ibarra, Miguel Ibarra, Bobby Shuttleworth.