D.C. United is back in Washington for three days of workouts before traveling to South Carolina for the final stage of training camp ahead of the March 10 MLS opener against Sporting Kansas City at RFK Stadium.
If the first match were tonight and everyone available, I would guess the starting lineup would look like this:
Bill Hamid in goal; Robbie Russell at right back, Daniel Woolard at left back, Emiliano Dudar and Brandon McDonald at center back, Perry Kitchen in defensive midfield, Chris Pontius and Andy Najar on the flanks, Branko Boskovic in central midfield, Dwayne De Rosario at withdrawn forward and Hamdi Salihi at striker.
During a full-field scrimmage at practice Monday at Long Bridge Park, however, several of those pieces were missing: Hamid and Kitchen are with the U.S. under-23 squad, and McDonald, Boskovic and De Rosario were working on the side while nursing minor injuries.
McDonald and De Rosario have had the same ailments for a few weeks, while Boskovic is recovering from a calf injury that required an MRI exam in Arizona last week. All are expected back soon.
In their place, Joe Willis was in goal, Dejan Jakovic in central defense, Marcelo Saragosa and Stephen King in central midfield, and Maicon Santos up top.
The other squad included Andrew Dykstra in goal, Chris Korb, Ethan White, guest Jose Burciaga and trialist Guillerme in the back, Conor Shanosky behind Lance Rozeboom in central midfield, Danny Cruz and Nick DeLeon on the flanks, and Josh Wolff paired with Brazilian trialist Alfred Martins up front.
Trialists Ryan Richter and Seth C’deBaca remain in the mix, as well.
Midfielder Kurt Morsink is out after foot surgery.
Pontius is ahead of schedule in his return from a broken leg and said he isn’t experiencing any discomfort. Wolff (stress fracture) has also returned to regular workouts.
De Rosario, on the status of his contract negotiations: “It’s still positive and moving in the right direction. We haven’t come to a final conclusion yet but hopefully soon.”