Friday Aug 08, 2014

D.C. United’s depth tested

D.C. United's Conor Doyle underwent season-ending knee surgery on August 4, 2014. (Photo: Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- D.C. United’s depth chart is suddenly looking fragile after a string of injuries and a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo last weekend.  

Conor Doyle became the latest casualty when he underwent season-ending knee surgery Monday after suffering an injury in training.

Defender Jeff Parke still hasn’t returned from a foot injury suffered at the end of May, and there’s no sign yet that midfielder Chris Pontius will return at all this season after hamstring surgery. 

Add an increasingly congested calendar, including a CONCACAF Champions League game against Jamaica’s Waterhouse FC on August 20, and D.C. (11-6-4, 37 points) suddenly finds itself walking a tightrope.

“This is going to be a tough month for this team and this organization,” said United midfielder Lewis Neal, who started Sunday rather than playing his typical substitute’s role.  “But if we can come through the end of August, the beginning of September in a similar position to where we are now, then we’ll be standing in a good spot.” 

Sunday’s deciding goal spoke to the challenge of keeping at least second place in MLS’s Eastern Conference during the busiest month of the season.

In second-half stoppage time, left back Taylor Kemp sent an awkward header toward his own penalty area.  Central defender Steve Birnbaum compounded the issue with a weak clearing header that stayed in play.  Houston’s Omar Cummings reached it and picked out Will Bruin for a finish past the stranded Hamid.

With Chris Korb omitted from the squad, Kemp was making his first start of the year.  Birnbaum, meanwhile, had been playing more regularly, but only since Parke’s injury. 

“Steve, first off, has been great the last two months,” United manager Ben Olsen said of the rookie first-round draft pick.  “Of course, he can do better on the play, but he's the type of kid who will learn from his mistakes.”

It was tough on United after weathering the storm in a city where it still has yet to win a league match (nine losses, one draw). 

Fabian Espindola, who hasn’t played since spraining his right MCL in Montreal on June 11, has returned to full training ahead of Saturday’s match at Real Salt Lake, his former club.

United also acquired forward David Estrada from Seattle for some attacking depth on Thursday.

Noticias Interesantes

Don Bosco con ganas de enfrentar a los mejores de CONCACAF

A diferencia de hace un año, un tropiezo en semifinales ante Central FC de Trinidad y Tobago, no iba a impedir a Don Bosco la búsqueda para convertirse en el tercer equipo de Haití en clasificarse para la Liga de Campeones Scotiabank de CONCACAF

Central FC repite como campeón de clubes del Caribe

Central FC retuvo el título del Campeonato de Clubes de la Unión de Fútbol Caribeña de Fútbol (CFU) con una victoria 3-0 en la final 2016 contra DirecTV W Connection ante 3.500 aficionados en el húmedo Stade Sylvio Cator.

Pimentel orgulloso del logro alcanzado por el Club América

Erik Pimentel jugó solo un partido en la Copa Mundial de Clubes de la FIFA 2015

DirecTV W Connection clasificó a la edición 2016-17 de SCCL

DirecTV W Connection (Trinidad y Tobago) logró clasificarse el viernes a la Liga de Campeones Scotiabank de la CONCACAF 2016-17 con una victoria 2-0 sobre Arnett Gardens (Jamaica) en las semifinales del campeonato de clubes de la Unión Caribeña en el Estadio Sylvio Cator.

Central FC clasificó a la SCCL 2016-17 y a la final del Caribe

Por segundo año consecutivo, el campeón defensor Central FC venció en tiros de penal a Don Bosco FC de Haití en las semifinales del Campeonato de Clubes de la Unión Caribeña de Fútbol CFU, imponiéndose 4-2 tras un empate 1-1 en el húmedo césped del Estadio Sylvio Cator el pasado viernes.