D.C. United news & notes

October 23, 2012

*Post columnist Mike Wise opines about Ben Olsen and D.C. United, a piece that appeared at the top of the front page in the Sports print edition.

*Defender Daniel Woolard (concussion) has resumed training and is wearing padded protection on his head. A new piece of equipment, rugby-style headgear worn by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, has been ordered for him.

“He looks sharp in training,” Olsen said, “but he still has a long way to go, soccer-wise.”

Woolard, the starting left back most of the season, has not played since early August and is focusing on fitness.

*Dwayne De Rosario was at the training grounds this morning, working with athletic trainer Brian Goodstein, jogging and sprinting on the side. The main issue with his sprained knee ligament is lateral movement. The club has not ruled him out of returning to action, should United advance deep in the playoffs.

*Midfielder Nick DeLeon has re-entered the MLS rookie of the year conversation after scoring his sixth goal Saturday — a club record for a first-year pro. (He also has four assists in 24 starts.) The previous DCU rookie high of five goals was accomplished by Santino Quaranta in 2001, Freddy Adu in 2004 and Andy Najar in 2010 (who won the rookie honor).

Other MLS award contenders: Vancouver forward Darren Mattocks (seven goals in 20 appearances but only 14 starts), Chicago center back Austin Berry (27 starts, three goals for a playoff team with a quality defense) and Dallas center back Matt Hedges (22 starts, three goals).

DeLeon and Berry were teammates at Louisville and will face one another in Saturday’s regular season finale at Toyota Park.

*The Supporters’ Shield race is settled — San Jose is the champion — but the way the postseason is structured this year with the finalist with the most points hosting MLS Cup, contending clubs are still pushing down the stretch. If, by chance, the Earthquakes are upset in the playoffs, someone else would stage the championship game. At the moment, if San Jose were out, Kansas City would be at the forefront for hosting rights.

The current overall points race:

San Jose 65 points

Sporting Kansas City 60

D.C. United 57

Seattle Sounders 56

Real Salt Lake 56

Chicago Fire 56

*It’s good to be Will Chang these days. Forty-eight hours after United clinched a playoff berth for the second time under his stewardship, the other U.S. pro team in which he is invested, the San Francisco Giants, completed a series comeback against the St. Louis Cardinals on a rainy night in the Bay Area and won the National League pennant for the second time in three years.

In a text message, he told me: “Got wet but loved it. We did it! National League champions. Go Giants!”

He hadn’t tweeted since Aug. 3, 2010, but this morning resurfaced: “My dream come true …. MLS Cup and WS Trophy”

The Giants will face the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, starting Wednesday.

*Long-range weather outlook for Toyota Park on Saturday afternoon: 46 degrees and sunny.

*NBC Sports Network will carry Saturday’s match between United and Chicago, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

 

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff | October 23, 2012