United will be in, no doubt about it. If you're superstitious, that's your problem. But if it will help, if they don't get in, I will give whoever is interested the opportunity to punch me directly in the face (just watch the teeth, dental work is expensive). There are 12 games left, and two teams with a realistic chance of catching United: Montreal and Columbus. Montreal is only 3 points back, but has played four more games. Columbus has one game in hand, but are 8 points back. Also, they are Columbus. One more thing, United gets them at home in the penultimate game of the season. It would be an epic collapse by United and an inspired surge from those two to keep United out. Not going to happen. To put it in perspective, there is a much better chance, numbers wise, of winning the East than there is of United missing the playoffs. I'm piling on because I want it to be clear that if United does miss out, it isn't my fault, but the players, coaches, etc. who have failed so completely miserably that there will need to be a massive purge. Again. Anyway, in light of that, what does United need to do in this stretch run to position itself to be the best possible team they can be come playoff time? My 2 cents: -See what a backline without McDonald looks like. Korb has been forced to play, which is only a good thing, imo. But what about Dudar-Jakovic? I know McDonald has his fans, and that's cool, he's been there when others haven't been able to, that's important. But it is my strong opinion he is often loses his mark and his struggles with possession are well documented. Can Dudar-Jakovic be worse? Don't know, I would like to find out. -Try playing with one forward. Hear me out. Even when United is winning, how much of that can be contributed to excellent midfield play and terrific teamwork between two forwards. United hasn't been able to form a partnership with good chemistry all year long. Probably because of the incessant rotation, or it's a square peg-round hole situation with the personnel, or United hasn't formed an identity to build around. Try shoring up the midfield with another center mid and play to your strengths: attacking from wide positions. Not just the middies, but the wing backs as well. That extra midfielder can fill that open position if the wing back gets caught upfield. Fortify the weak spots, excentuate the strengths. -Let that one forward be Hamdi Salihi. He's your DP. He has to be fresh. Let's give him a prolonged run where all we need him to do is what he does best. Create space with his runs and scores some ugly goals. It doesn't need to be his job to get in behind, that should come from the wings. If United is expecting him to win a lot of aerial battles from long balls out of the back, I throw up my hands and despair. You bought him, you (theoretically) know what he's about, now see if he can do it. Anybody else?