De Rosario likely to play Sunday

November 13, 2012

It’s looking increasingly likely D.C. United star Dwayne De Rosario will play in a limited capacity in the second leg of MLS’s Eastern Conference finals Sunday against Houston at RFK Stadium.

De Rosario, sidelined for two months with a sprained knee, has participated in regular workouts for two weeks and, during Monday morning’s session, didn’t appear to hold back.

“He’s a lot further along than we would have expected,” assistant coach Chad Ashton said. “We are very optimistic he can play.”

After a long layoff, the biggest issue is fitness. Ashton suggested De Rosario would be an option to enter in the second half. “Limited minutes, for sure,” Ashton said.

De Rosario remained cautious.

“I feel good, but there are a lot more days leading up to the game,” the 2011 league MVP said. “If it feels good on that day, we’ll see. I am there for the team. It doesn’t matter if it’s the second half, overtime, starting or not playing at all.”

De Rosario traveled with the club to New York last week and Houston over the weekend to lend moral support. “Hopefully I can transfer words into actions now,” he said.

In other United news…..

*No immediate updates were available on the three injured starters who left Sunday’s 3-1 loss in Houston: Chris Pontius (groin), Marcelo Saragosa (hamstring) and Brandon McDonald (calf). Aside from goalkeeper Joe Willis, none of Sunday’s starters practiced Tuesday.

*More than 17,000 tickets have been sold for the series finale at RFK and club officials expect a sellout in the downsized capacity of 19,647. The upper deck will remain closed. However, if United overcomes the two-goal series deficit and advances to MLS Cup against Los Angeles or Seattle, the upper levels would open, increasing game-day capacity to about 45,000.

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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