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Three "friendly" questions with Black And Red United

In America we have a love/hate relationship with these friendlies. If you're a supporter of a club who comes over, it is a great way to see your club in person. But, if you are a supporter of the US team and don't care about the foreign club, they're a distraction to the season.

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Black and Red United is an excellent blog devoted to DC United. DC are historically the best team in MLS, though they've struggled recently. If you're looking for a MLS team to support, you could do worse than them. (Though as a Seattle Sounders supporter myself, I believe you could also do better).

Cottagers Confidential: Honest opinion, how much do you hate these friendlies? We just had one in Seattle and the fan base was divided among those who hated it, those who loved it, and those who didn't care. I found myself actually enjoying the experience of being able to watch 90 minutes of soccer in person with no worries about the outcome.

Black and Red United:really dislike them because they don't mean anything. I understand why foreign teams in their preseason come and do it, as it is a part of their preseason and they get to try out some other players against teams that are in midseason form. But D.C. United has a packed August of games, and just the thought of one of them being moved to this weekend instead of this game makes me sad. In addition, United's younger players would probably be better served playing with their USL PRO affiliate, the Richmond Kickers, in a game that means something this weekend.

CC: As both a Fulham and Seattle Sounders supporter not to mention a fan of the USMNT, I have a very long love/hate relationship with Eddie Johnson. He can be a very polarizing figure to say the least. How has he been for you this season both on and off the pitch?

BARU: As I am sure you know, Eddie Johnson can be a very frustrating player. He can be demonstrative and get upset easily on the field, and sometimes he's not getting back onside as quickly as he could and an attack breaks down. However, he is really starting to become a key player for D.C. United by doing all of the other stuff a forward needs to do. Watch the clip of him heading the ball down back into the path of Perry Kitchen, who then scores the goal. Watch him dragging defenders out of position so that his teammates can get chances. He has scored a couple of penalties in recent games, and I still think that the goals from the run of play will come.

CC: DC made pretty big news when they sold Andy Najar. He was the first home grown player to be sold by an MLS team. With MLS looking like it might be a fertile ground for budget European clubs to shop in, are there any young players on DC that might have the talent to make a move to Europe any time soon? Any that a club like Fulham might be interested in?

BARU: Perry Kitchen and Bill Hamid are the two brightest young stars on D.C. United right now. Kitchen is a hard-working defensive midfielder who has recently been getting a lot of buzz for the first time outside of D.C., and is being tipped as a player that Juergan Klinsmann should be considering for the men's national team soon. Bill Hamid, of course, was the first homegrown player that D.C. United signed (in 2009) and has really turned into one of the top three goalkeepers in MLS this year. Both are under 24 and it would probably be an economics decision as to how long they can stay with D.C. United.

CC: Projected Lineup?

BARU: I feel like the team will at least start with most of its regular starters before rotating people in. I will go with Bill Hamid, Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Chris Korb, Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, Chris Rolfe, Eddie Johnson, and Luis Silva. However, expect names like Collin Martin, Michael Seaton, and Jared Jeffrey to feature heavily as well.