By the time D.C. United's players gather at the RFK Stadium training grounds this morning for their first workout since late last week, their coach and front-office bosses will be 5,200 miles away enjoying 59-degree weather in Buenos Aires.
Peter Nowak was scheduled to accompany United Technical Director Dave Kasper and President Kevin Payne last night on a four-day scouting mission in Argentina, where they hope to identify a player for possible acquisition later this summer.
Payne has said the club is most interested in an unspecified young defender, believed to be with the struggling San Lorenzo club, but the trio plans to attend at least three league matches and focus on several players. San Lorenzo, based in Buenos Aires, will host Lanus on Saturday.
Late last year United signed Argentine midfielder Christian Gomez, a move that helped turn around the season and propel the club to its fourth MLS title.
"We have established good relationships down there," Kasper said. "We're going to continue to track players we've seen and take it from there. We're preparing for the next [international] transfer window to open [on Aug. 15], and depending on what's available and what our needs are at that time, that's when we'll make decisions."
United has an informal working relationship with San Lorenzo, which could lead to United taking a player on loan or, during the MLS offseason, sending D.C. players there for workouts.
With MLS's limited budgets, Kasper said United almost certainly won't be able to acquire Walter Garcia, a highly regarded 21-year-old defender who seems headed for Europe, but it might be in the running for another young San Lorenzo player, such as Santiago Hoyos, 23, Hernan Mattiuzzo, 21, or Leandro Alvarez, 24.
Adu Headed Back to Team
With the U.S. under-20 national team eliminated from the FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands, teenager Freddy Adu is expected to return to United practice today or tomorrow.
He missed four MLS games, during which United went 2-0-2, and will now try to work his way back into the lineup as the club prepares for two matches next week: at Chicago on Wednesday and at Columbus on July 2. . . .
Forward Alecko Eskandarian will be reevaluated today after suffering his third concussion in three years during the late stages of last Saturday's 2-0 victory over New England. . . . Forward Jaime Moreno won MLS goal of the week honors for his creative run and 10-yard shot against the Revolution.