Our area will be flush with international soccer action thisweekend as D.C. United hosts Paris St. Germain Saturday night at RFK whileTottenham and Liverpool face-off up in Baltimore.
There’s no denying that both contests will feature anoverwhelming amount of talent, but – in the sake of a good bar argument – wedecided to take a look at how a ‘Starting 11’ from each match would fareagainst their counterparts.
We’ll break this fantasy matchup down unit-by-unit and throwin a few additional players as potential second-half substitutes.
PSG/DCU: Starter – B. Hamid, Backup – S. Sirigu
LFC/TOT: Starter – P. Reina, Backup – B. Friedel
Breakdown: Pepe Reina and Brad Friedel have more experience- way more experience - but if weare building a team for the future and not the past, you’d be hard pressed tofind a pair of better young keepers than the duo that will be on display at RFKon Saturday night. Bill Hamid isthe heir apparent to Tim Howard for the USMNT, and the same can be said for SalvatoreSirigu – who was a backup on Italy’s Euro 2012 side - and Italian legendGianluiggi Buffon.
PSG/DCU: Maxwell, Alex, M. Sakho SUB: B. McDonald
LFC/TOT: B. Assou-Ekotto, M. Skrtel, D. Agger, G. JohnsonSUB: W. Gallas
Breakdown: In this version of ‘fantasy football’ our DCU/PSGside will be playing a 3-5-2. Maxwell was a huge part of the Barcelona teams that dominated the worldin 2009 and 2010, and 22-year-old Mamadou Sakho has already made 124appearances for PSG. The LFC/TOTback four may be slightly tougher, but who watches a friendly in hopes ofseeing a fundamentally sound tackle ten yards shy of midfield?
PSG/DCU: D. De Rosario, J. Pastore, J. Menez, T. Motta, M.Sissoko SUB: P. Kitchen
LFC/TOT: G. Bale, S. Gerrard, R. Van der Vaart, A. LennonSUB: S. Parker
Breakdown: As expected, the EPL combo-side has a slightspeed advantage in midfield. But,on pure playmaking ability, the RFK outfit surely can make up for it. Javier Pastore is a string-puller andJeremy Menez can break down any defense from the wing. It’s a rare day when Perry Kitchenisn’t the obvious ‘toughest guy on the field’, but playing against MohamedSissoko on Saturday, Kitchen will have a run for his money.
PSG/DCU: Z. Ibrahimovic, E. Lavezzi SUB: C. Pontius
LFC/TOT: A. Carroll, L. Suarez SUB: J. Defoe
Breakdown: Zlatan Ibrahimovic led the Serie A in scoring last year while LuisSuarez (whose 11 goals were far more than Andy Carroll’s paltry grand total offour) finished tied for 13th on the EPL scoring chart. Ibra’s output will only increase withthe unselfish Ezequiel Lavezzi providing great service.