D.C. United news and notes

*Midfielder Chris Pontius says he is ready to face FC Dallas on Saturday night after missing two matches with a groin injury, the most recent absence as precaution against aggravating the ailment.

“It’s just one those things where it’s a long season, and as much as I want to get back into games, I needed to be smart with it and not set myself back more games,” he said.

Match fitness is not an issue, he said, and he might end up in the starting lineup. Nick DeLeon‘s second-half appearance Wednesday against Houston after a 6 1/2-week layoff suggests additional time at Dallas. However, as much as he needs both Pontius and DeLeon on the field at the same time, Coach Ben Olsen doesn’t want to be in a position where he has to substitute multiple players at halftime.

*On the subject of the lineup in general, Olsen said: “I would expect a change or two” — in part because United is playing its second match in four days but in large part because nothing is working.

Goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who has started every match this season, declined an interview request after training, which is unusual for him. However, he also did not speak after Wednesday’s game. Hamid has conceded 12 goals in the past four outings but has received little help from his teammates, particularly the center backs.

*Forward Casey Townsend and defender Taylor Kemp will travel with the club to Dallas instead of reporting back to third-division Richmond (3-0-2) for Saturday night’s USL match against Antigua Barracuda (0-5-0). United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, defender Conor Shanosky and forward Michael Seaton are available to the Kickers.

*As far as I can tell, United’s six-game losing streak is the longest in the club’s 18-season history. The seven-game winless skid (0-6-1) is third worst behind 0-6-4 (all league matches) in 2002 and 0-5-3 in 2003, which included the U.S. Open Cup and MLS playoffs. The longest losing streak during the disastrous 2010 season was five (twice).

*Dallas (6-1-3) is on a 5-0-3 roll and 5-0-1 at home overall.

*TV for Dallas match: Comcast SportsNet, 8:30 p.m. ET (announcers in Bethesda, Md., studio).

*Weather outlook in Frisco on Saturday night: 75 degrees, light breeze, 0 percent chance of rain.

*Referee: Matthew Foerster.

*I will have much more on United’s slow starts in Saturday’s print edition (available online late in the day Friday).

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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