D.C. United went back to work Tuesday morning at the RFK Stadium training grounds, recovering from both the 2-1 loss at New England and a bunch of minor injuries. Branko Boskovic’s conspicuous absence from the lineup is going to be the focus of my print/online story (available tonight). For now, you should know that:
*Right back Jed Zayner (hamstring), Clyde Simms (calf) and Josh Wolff (hamstring) are day to day. Goalkeeper Pat Onstad injured a finger Saturday but should be fine. Zayner and Simms didn’t play at New England, while Wolff lasted one half. Said Coach Ben Olsen: “We’re a little bit banged up, but nothing that can’t be fixed this week” leading to Sunday’s match at MLS champion Colorado.
*Center back Dejan Jakovic will not have to pay a fine but still must sit out this weekend’s match because of the red card received in the final moments of the New England game, according to United President Kevin Payne. “They can’t rescind the card,” Payne said, “but the disciplinary committee can’t figure out what he had done that deserved a red.”
The confusion stemmed from Jakovic gesturing to referee Baldomero Toledo in order to demonstrate Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis’s actions when the players were pursuing a ball in the box. Toledo might’ve mistaken those gestures as attempts to strike New England players who had approached the United defender in support of their keeper, Payne said.
For much more.....
*With Jakovic suspended, Perry Kitchen with the U.S. under-20 national team and Zayner questionable, Olsen will need to be creative with his backline. If Olsen sticks with a four-man alignment, Zayner and left-side players Daniel Woolard and Marc Burch are the top options to join Rodrigo Brasesco in the middle. Rookie Ethan White, whose primary position is center back, is making strides. I asked Olsen whether he would consider playing with three in the back. “I’m not sure how we are going to play this weekend at this point. We’ve got to evaluate what we have right now and work on things this week.”
*Reflecting on the loss, Olsen said: “They [the Revolution] were ready for the challenge and we tried, gave it our best shot, but we just weren’t up to matching their energy. It cost us. The referee was not great, but we let a 50-yard ball drop into our 18 [leading to the first goal], so you make your own luck. On the second one, [Pat] Phelan jumped in and made something happen. We didn’t make enough happen. Overall, there was some good stuff. We got into some very good opportunities, but the final ball was lacking.”
*On goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s status: “Each day he’s getting better, each day he’s looking more like himself. Physically he looks like he has no limitations. There is a time or two where it looks like he’s been out for a while, but that’s pretty normal.”
*On rookie forward Blake Brettschneider, who has scored consistently in preseason and reserve matches: ”He’s making it tough and that’s what we ask everybody in reserve games to do – make it as tough as possible on the staff to keep them out of the lineup. He has been very good in those games. He’s very athletic and has good pace. This level is reserve games and preseason games, but saying that, it’s certainly better than college and he has transitioned very well. He has a knack for scoring goals, he gets into good spots, he has been a huge bright spot.”