WASHINGTON, September 13, 2012 — These are tough times for D.C. United. The club has slipped to sixth in the Eastern Conference and is now on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Now comes news that the team’s key player, Dwayne De Rosario will be sidelined 10-12 weeks after suffering a suffered a grade III MCL sprain.
This means, De Rosario, the league’s, MVP will be out for the season. It’s a major blow for the team. DE Rosario suffered the injury on Tuesday in the first half of a 2-0 loss to Panama in a World Cup qualifying game.
“De Rosario is our captain, a great player and impossible to replace,” said D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen. “With that said, we have talented players that will step up in his absence and this injury will not be an excuse to fall short of goals we set for ourselves as a team at the beginning of the season.”
De Rosario has played in 26 games (25 starts) this season notching seven goals and earning 12 assists, ranking him second on the assists chart. He recently he netted his 100th career MLS goal, putting him at seventh all time. But it’s not all bleak for the club.
United will hope to get back into the playoff picture against the struggling New England Revolution at RFK Stadium on Saturday night. The Revolution are the worst team in the Conference on the road and United has not lost at RFK in 13 games. United also has an easy schedule to close out the season. Five of United’s last seven games come against teams at the bottom of the table in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.
United play the Revolution (8th Place in the East) on 9/15, the Philadelphia Union (9th Place in the East) on 9/20, Chivas USA (8th Place in the West) on 9/23, Portland Timbers (last place in the West) on 9/29, and Toronto FC (last place in the East) on 10/6.
However, the club does face two tough homes games to close out the season against club’s currently higher than them - Columbus and Chicago.
Note: United coach Ben Olsen will be inducted into the Hall of Tradition at United’s game with New England at RFK Stadium on Saturday. Olsen joins Olsen joins the following as members of the Hall of Tradition: John Harkes (2003), Marco Etcheverry (2007), Betty D’Anjolell (2008), Jeff Agoos (2008), Raul Diaz Arce (2009), Danilo Noel Dirón (2009), Eddie Pope (2010), and Richie Williams (2011).
For over 20 years John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon
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