D.C. United striker Alecko Eskandarian, who hasn't played in a month because of a concussion, will remain sidelined after consulting with a second neurologist.
"He's shut down for two weeks," team trainer Brian Goodstein said yesterday before the club headed to Kansas City, Mo., for tonight's match against the Wizards.
Eskandarian, the 2004 MLS Cup most valuable player who has been held without a goal this season, had participated in training sessions the previous two weeks in hopes of playing last Friday against San Jose. But he continued to suffer headaches and, after consulting another doctor the other day, he was told not to exert himself in any way for a couple weeks.
"Of course, we worry about him -- he's our teammate," midfielder Dema Kovalenko said. "We definitely need him back. He's a big part of our team and hopefully he gets healthy. He has to worry about himself first. . . . If he needs two weeks, it's two weeks. If he needs three weeks, he should take three. He'll just have to work hard to get back to where he was. After something like this, it takes time."
United (7-6-4) has done fine without Eskandarian, who suffered his third concussion in three years June 18 when New England goalkeeper Matt Reis's knee hit his head as both pursued a ball inside the penalty area. Jaime Moreno and Freddy Adu are almost certain to start together on the front line again tonight after combining with playmaker Christian Gomez for three goals and two assists in the 3-0 victory over the Earthquakes on Friday.
The trio "understands each other very well right now," Coach Peter Nowak said. He was quick to point out, however, that the support Moreno, Adu and Gomez received was crucial to United's performance against the hottest team in MLS. Defensive midfielder Brian Carroll won a ball with a header, allowing Gomez to score his first goal; left wing Josh Gros crossed perfectly to Moreno for the second goal; and the defense conceded few scoring opportunities.
United will need to maintain its rhythm throughout the week because, after tonight's game at Arrowhead Stadium, the club will head to Los Angeles to face the Galaxy. D.C. hasn't won in Kansas City in four years and will confront an L.A. team that is 7-0-3 at Home Depot Center.
United will continue to play without midfielder Ben Olsen and midfielder-forward Santino Quaranta, who are with the U.S. national team at the Gold Cup for this final week.
"It's important to know that we cannot be inconsistent," Nowak said. "This is what we're looking for and what we talk about -- to be consistent. . . . To maintain the same mentality and the same approach right now is very important, but when I talk to the players on the team they understand what needs to be done to maintain this consistency."
United Notes: The team and the league are tentatively planning to announce the sale of United's operating rights next week, sources close to the negotiations said. A local group, led by real estate businessmen Willi Lauterbach and Timothy Kissler, has purchased the team from Anschutz Entertainment Group. . . . Defender Bryan Namoff (hernia surgery) remains out, but defender David Stokes (sprained ankle) traveled with the team and will likely play in tomorrow morning's reserve match. . . . Forward Jamil Walker has conjunctivitis but is expected to meet the team in Kansas City today. . . . Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad and forward Josh Wolff are on U.S. duty at the Gold Cup.