D.C. United news and notes

*As expected, midfielder Marcos Sanchez has been recalled by Panama’s national team for World Cup qualifiers March 22 and 25, meaning he will miss United’s March 23 match against the Columbus Crew in Washington. Canadian defender Dejan Jakovic will also be unavailable, traveling to Qatar for a pair of friendlies. FIFA set an official fixture window for March 22-26, which requires clubs to release players for international duty. Despite the fixture dates being in place for years, MLS scheduled eight league matches March 23-24.

*Midfielder Lewis Neal remains sidelined with a groin injury and said he hopes to resume training in a few weeks. Previously unannounced, Neal said he had hernia surgery in December in Germany. The ailments were not directly related, he said.

*Joe Willis, the second-choice goalkeeper, might return to the game-day roster for Saturday’s home opener against Real Salt Lake after missing several weeks with a foot injury. Meantime, Andrew Dykstra, the No. 3 keeper who has been backing up starter Bill Hamid, has experienced head issues and is being monitored.

*Latest RFK game-time forecast Saturday: 45 degrees, 19-mph wind, 0 percent chance of rain.

*Real Salt Lake’s record in Washington: 0-4-3 in league play, 0-5-3 overall. (United in Utah: 1-6-1.)

*Olsen and RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando remain good friends, going back to their playing days together with United.

“I do know the goalkeeper. I talk to him enough,” he said. “We usually catch up [before the teams face one another]. We see each other at some point. He never gives me the lineup, though.”

Any trash-talking?

“We’re too old for that. We both have children.”

*In case you missed it earlier, freeway access to RFK has changed.

*Speaking of weather, Chris Pontius appeared on the Channel 5 newscast this morning:

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 · March 8, 2013

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