I caught up with D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen before practice for some quick reaction to Dwayne De Rosario’s knee injury and how the club plans to move forward in the MLS playoff race without its most important player.....
“It’s bad news, but it’s over with. Nothing changes, besides the fact that we don’t have one of our game-changers. We’ve got offensive power, so we just have to now be a more workmanlike team and really make sure everyone is picking up their game to compensate for it. Our goals haven’t changed. We still have seven games to do what we need to do and that’s what we expect to do, with or without Dwayne.”
Do you think you can make a move before the MLS roster freeze Friday?
“There are always things you can explore, but the deadline is coming up, and the timing of it isn’t great. We’ll look around, but for the most part, we are who we are and I am okay with it.”
This is just like last season, a year and a day since Chris Pontius broke his leg?
“We’re a better group than last year. We are more able to handle this, both from a personnel standpoint and a mentality standpoint. It’s a good test for us, but nothing changes. There are no excuses. This doesn’t mean it’s okay for us now to lose games and not make the playoffs.”
United is one point out of an Eastern Conference playoff berth, with the next five matches against clubs that are going nowhere: New England, Philadelphia, Chivas USA, Portland and Toronto. The final two games are against playoff contenders Columbus and Chicago.
“Absolutely gutted, to be honest,” DeRo wrote on Twitter.
De Rosario, the Canadian national team’s most important player, will also miss the last two World Cup qualifiers in CONCACAF’s semifinal round, critical matches Oct. 12 at home against Cuba and four days later at Honduras.