WASHINGTON, D.C. March 9, 2013 — D.C. United will be without its captain and key playmaker Dwayne De Rosario when it kicks off its 2013 home opener against Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium at 7 p.m.
Dwayne De Rosario, the league’s MVP in 2011, was suspended for two matches by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for a preseason incident involving Philadelphia Union’s Danny Cruz when he allegedly head-butted his former United teammate.
“I’m fit and anxious to play,” De Rosario said yesterday.
United missed De Rosario in their season opener in Houston last week, falling 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Championship rematch. United have never won in Houston and are now 0-8-1 on the road against the Dynamo in league play.
In De Rosario’s absence John Thorrington made his club debut in the central midfield behind lone striker Lionard Pajoy. It was a tough loss for United but there were a number of positives. Goalie Bill Hamid and midfielders Chris Pontius, Nick DeLeon and Perry Kitchen, were all very impressive, which bodes well in the upcoming season.
Real Salt Lake arrive at RFK on the heels of impressive 2-0 road win at Supporters’ Shield holders San Jose last week. Costa Rican Alvaro Saborio notched both Salt Lake’s goals against the best team in regular season last year.
After two seasons in the English second division, speedy striker Robbie Findley is back at Real, and combined with Saborio will be a challenge for United’s backline.
This is the only league meeting between the teams this season. United have won four of the seven league encounters all-time at RFK between the clubs.
United is hoping for another good season. The club made playoffs for the first time in five years and last year and was one game shy of an MLS Cup appearance.
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. 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 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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