D.C. United news and notes: Pontius surgery, Hamid status, Olsen comments

(D.C. United)
(D.C. United)

 

*Midfielder Chris Pontius underwent additional surgery on his left hamstring this week in Santa Monica, Calif., and will miss another four to six months. On that timetable, he might not return this season.

Pontius, an MLS Best XI selection two years ago, had an operation in November and was expected to return in time for the season opener in March. However, he suffered setbacks during preseason and discontinued workouts several weeks ago. Plans for further surgery first emerged last week.

*Goalkeeper Bill Hamid is training regularly after missing three matches with a toe injury. In his absence, Andrew Dykstra has conceded one goal and given steady performances. With Hamid available this Saturday night against FC Dallas at RFK Stadium, does Coach Ben Olsen face a lineup dilemma?

“I wouldn’t call it a dilemma,” Olsen said. “I would say Dykstra did a great job and I would continue to say I have three very good goalkeepers and that I feel very comfortable relying on any of them this weekend.”

*Midfielder Luis Silva, out for three matches with an ankle injury, and defender Chris Korb, sidelined since preseason with a knee ailment, are participating in regular training sessions and under consideration to return to the game-day roster this weekend. Midfielder Chris Rolfe is fine after treating a sore quadriceps upon his exit from Saturday’s match. Defender Sean Franklin received several stitches from an elbow to above the eye against the Crew. Forward Michael Seaton is training without issues after departing early in the Richmond Kickers’ match Saturday with an ankle injury.

*Olsen’s reaction to the referee organization’s review of a missed red card at Columbus:

“It wasn’t something I was surprised at. It was a no-brainer to me. It’s good they do [the reviews]. They have been more transparent with how they interpret the laws. It’s positive. But when I read it, it just pisses me off again.”

That said, Olsen reiterated his club should have secured three points in Columbus.

“We had plenty of chances to kill that game off. This game shouldn’t have come down to the last 10 minutes. We had plenty of chances to make it 2-0. We certainly all understand we should have been up a man for a longer duration. … We’re pissed off about the two points we left on the table, and hopefully the lessons we’ve learned week in and week out will not repeat. It’s important they don’t show themselves every other week — that was a big issue last year. We went over things and we didn’t necessarily learn.”

*Olsen, on Eddie Johnson‘s scoreless rut through six matches:

“I am sure he is frustrated but he also has a smile on his face because we are doing okay. We’re on a four-game unbeaten streak. He is genuinely a team guy right now, and he understands that is what this is about – his team having success. I talked to him about, at the end of his career, is he wearing any rings? He is going to score goals. But put a ring on that finger. Hopefully that is his focus right now.”

*After Saturday’s match in Columbus, Rolfe joined his family for Easter in his hometown of Kettering, Ohio, a Dayton suburb. “The last time I was there for Easter I was finding eggs in the backyard,” he said of the gap since last making it home for the holiday. On Monday he loaded up his car with personal belongings, including his bicycle, and drove 475 miles to Washington.

*United academy players called into recent national team camps:

Defender Suli Dainkeh (Reston, Va.; University of Maryland): U.S. under-20s at Dallas Cup

Midfielder Jose Carranza (Woodbridge, Va.; Prince William Soccer): U.S. under-15s in Italy

Midfielder Ronald Ventura (Kensington, Md.; Potomac Soccer): El Salvador under-20s

Midfielder Jorge Calix (Alexandria, Va.; Team America): Honduras under-20s

Alexis Cerritos, son of former MLS and Salvadoran international Ronald Cerritos, scored in DCU U-14 squad’s 3-0 victory over Virginia Rush.

*United’s open training session at Cardozo High School in Washington, postponed because of weather early this month, has been rescheduled for next Monday at 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. [Details]

*Fresh off its first victory, the Washington Spirit embarked on a two-match road trip this week, visiting the Seattle Reign tonight (10 p.m. ET) and the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday (8 p.m.). The NWSL live streams all matches on YouTube.

 

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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