United Goalkeeper Josh Wicks to Miss Rest of the Regular Season with Dislocated Shoulder and Sprained MCL

Josh Wicks suffered two injuries on one play in Sunday's game.
Josh Wicks suffered two injuries on one play in Sunday's game. (By Luis Alvarez -- Associated Press)
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By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Josh Wicks, D.C. United's starting goalkeeper since late May, will be out four to six weeks after dislocating his left shoulder and spraining his right knee on the same play during a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday at RFK Stadium.

Wicks left the match early in the second half because of the shoulder ailment and later complained of knee discomfort. MRI exams Monday revealed the severity of the injuries.

With Wicks out for the rest of the regular season, rookie Milos Kocic becomes United's top option in goal. Because the MLS roster deadline has passed, the club cannot sign a goalkeeper from overseas or a lower division. However, the league does allow teams to replace injured goalies with someone from the MLS player pool -- a collection of young keepers who are available leaguewide throughout the season in case of hardship.

In announcing Wicks's injury, United did not say who will be added to the roster.

D.C.'s goalkeeping corps also includes 18-year-old Bill Hamid, the first homegrown signing from the youth academy. Because he joined the team late in the season, though, he is eligible for nonleague matches only. In United's case, those are in the CONCACAF Champions League, which resumes Wednesday with a home match against San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad and Tobago.

Wicks, acquired in preseason from Los Angeles, won the starting job from Louis Crayton in May and started 17 consecutive league matches. Crayton was released midseason. Wicks was terrific at times but also had some rough moments, including a red card against Seattle in the U.S. Open Cup final.

On Sunday, Wicks came well off the goal line and went airborne in an attempt to punch away a corner kick. He appeared to jam his arm against the ball, which was being simultaneously headed by Earthquakes forward Ryan Johnson. Upon falling and sliding, Wicks seemed to twist his right knee.

Kocic entered the game and yielded two goals, though neither was exclusively his fault. Ramon Sanchez scored on a superb free kick and Johnson converted a diving header after Arturo Alvarez's shot -- which Kocic said he was in position to stop -- deflected off United's Clyde Simms and hit the crossbar.

Kocic, a second-round draft pick from Loyola University in Baltimore, has made two regular season starts, a week apart in early May. He also started four of United's six Open Cup games and two of six Champions League matches.

United (8-7-12) probably needs to win its final three league matches to qualify for the MLS playoffs. The club is also in a tight race to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals with two games left.

Meantime, defender Bryan Namoff, who has been sidelined for two weeks with a concussion, underwent further medical tests Monday. It remains unclear whether he will be able to play again this season.

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