For most MLS teams, this year’s World Cup break will be a great opportunity to rest and recharge before returning to the long grind of the regular season.
D.C. United, however, isn’t like most MLS teams.
Primarily healthy, playing well and without any international absences, United’s likely bemoaning the timing of the two-week break rather than embracing it.
After a 1-0 win at home against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, United is 3-1-1 in its past five games and sits in second place in the Eastern Conference, just two points behind first-place New England.
Backup defender Chris Korb is nursing a minor injury, but outside of him and the long-term absence of Chris Pontius, the team is healthy.
While many teams are missing key players due to international duty, D.C. United has a full-strength team following Eddie Johnson’s omission from the USA World Cup team.
United does have a player away on international duty, but he hasn’t factored into the team’s plans so far in 2014. Despite already playing and excelling with the full Jamaica national team, 18-year-old Michael Seaton has yet to play a minute for United this season, instead spending time on loan with USL Pro affiliate Richmond Kickers.
The good news for United is that it will have two more league games before the break and will also participate in a non-league match as well.
In addition to Saturday’s match against Columbus at FedEx Field (the second game of a doubleheader which begins with Spain facing El Salvador), United will also travel to Montreal on Wednesday for a game against the team currently tied for the fewest points in MLS.
Additionally, the team will begin the defense of its U.S. Open Cup title on June 17 with a game against Rochester Rhinos of USL Pro.