RFK Stadium was buzzing with activity Thursday, 48 hours before D.C. United’s season opener against Sporting Kansas City. The squad spent a third day on the stadium field, and considering how early it is in the year, the turf is in good shape. Maintenance workers were using power blowers to spruce up the seating areas, player banners are up on the outside of the building, and the main lights and scoreboards appeared to be in working order.
*Defender Ethan White might need minor knee surgery for an injury that has troubled him for quite some time. He would probably miss at least a month.
*Goalkeeper Bill Hamid and midfielder Perry Kitchen will report to U.S. under-23 national team camp early next week in preparation for the Olympic qualifying tournament, meaning they will probably miss three United matches (at Los Angeles Galaxy, at Vancouver Whitecaps, home against FC Dallas). Midfielder Andy Najar is likely to remain with DCU through the Galaxy match March 18, then join the Honduran squad.
*Two trialists remain in contention for one roster slot, with a decision likely Friday. The candidates are Ryan Richter, a second-year pro who has been in camp since the start and can play a variety of positions; and left-side midfielder Lewis Neal, a 30-year-old Englishman who played at third-tier Orlando City last season. If Neal is offered a contract, he would fill the final international roster slot.
*United’s new lease to remain at RFK Stadium is “just about done,” club president Kevin Payne said. A formal announcement is likely next week. “We appreciate the spirit [the city] approached it,” citing more favorable terms.
*Ticket sales for the opener are between 12,000 and 13,000, with an expectation of at least 16,000 by kickoff.
*If you’re going to the Washington Capitals game tonight at Verizon Center, keep an eye out for United’s Chris Pontius and Danny Cruz making a promotional appearance.
*Dwayne De Rosario’s wife Brandy gave birth to their fourth child (third son). Everyone is healthy and happy, DeRo says.