D.C. United’s starting forwards, Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff, didn’t practice Thursday and won’t play in Sunday’s friendly against Dutch champion Ajax at RFK Stadium.
The club is targeting the next MLS match, May 29 at Portland, as their possible return, but Coach Ben Olsen said it’s too early to speculate about their availability.
Not that his chances were high to begin with, but Davies’s strained hamstring ended hopes of earning a U.S. national team roster berth for the June 4 friendly against Spain in Foxborough, Mass., and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. team opens training camp late next week.
Like Davies, Wolff (groin) was injured in the first half of last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids.
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Midfielder Kurt Morsink (ankle) is out for several weeks. Midfielder Clyde Simms (calf) and defender Jed Zayner (hamstring) jogged on the side.
Ajax, which clinched the Dutch title Sunday, is scheduled to arrive in Washington today. Several players, including World Cup goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, will join United players for a youth clinic Friday afternoon at the RFK training grounds. Ambassador Renee Jones-Bos will attend.
Christian Eriksen, Ajax’s 19-year-old star midfielder from Denmark, is the subject of transfer reports to the English Premier League and is not with Ajax for a U.S. tour that also includes a friendly at Portland next Wednesday.
Speaking of young talent, United’s Andy Najar, 18, is expected to be named to Honduras’ Gold Cup roster Friday. When he will report to the Catrachos remains unclear. He seems certain to remain with United for the May 29 match at Portland and Honduras would like to have him in camp soon thereafter, meaning he would miss D.C.'s game at Los Angeles on June 3. (The Galaxy will be without Landon Donovan.)
United’s Dejan Jakovic will join Canada’s squad after the Portland match. Canada’s opener is June 7 vs. the United States in Detroit.
Advance ticket sales for Ajax’s visit to Washington: 10,000.
Olsen’s take on his club after 10 league matches: “Could I sit back and say, ‘Hey, we’re a young team and we’re in a good spot, we’ve had some good games, we just tied the champs?’ Sure. I think I could get away with that. But right now, that’s the wrong mentality for me and these guys. It’s got to change around here and it starts with me and hopefully my not feeling good about the situation we’re in translates and we all fix it together.”
There have been a lot of peaks and valleys, after 10 games did you expect to be in a more stable situation?
“We all expected this, the ups and downs because of the youth and the new team. What’s disappointing is that the peaks haven’t been super peaks. We had some games where we are on them, we’re stepping on the gas and there are a lot of opportunities to punish teams, and we’re not doing that. We’ve left a lot of points on the table. That’s probably why I don’t feel so great. ... We’re growing, and as long as we have less peaks and valleys and have better performances from here on out, I think we’ll be okay.”