With the United States eliminated from the Olympic qualifying tournament, goalkeeper Bill Hamid and midfielder Perry Kitchen are scheduled to rejoin D.C. United on Wednesday.
United is particularly eager to evaluate Hamid, who departed Monday’s 3-3 draw with El Salvador late in the first half with an ankle injury.
Coach Ben Olsen said he has received second-half updates and that the injury is “nothing crazy. I’m sure it’s a sprain or a bruise. We don’t know to what severity.”
Between the injury and Hamid’s long absence, Joe Willis seems likely to start against FC Dallas on Friday night at RFK Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network). Willis played well in the past two outings.
United will also probably rest Kitchen, who played every minute at center back in the three qualifiers over five days. Marcelo Saragosa started the past two matches in defensive midfield, Kitchen’s position with United.
Aside from the heavy schedule, “it’s been an emotional ride for them,” Olsen said of Hamid and Kitchen. “We’ve got to sit down with them and see where they’re at. It was physical and emotional. It was a lot to go through.”
Meantime, United midfielder Andy Najar and Honduras are almost certain to advance to Saturday’s semifinals and play El Salvador in Kansas City, Kan.
Following Friday’s match, United won’t play again until April 7 against the Seattle Sounders at RFK.
In other news…..
*Reserve midfielder Kurt Morsink practiced for the first time since recovering from foot surgery – a timely return in the wake of rookie Lance Rozeboom tearing a knee ligament in training last week.
Of Rozeboom, Olsen said: “It was a clean tackle: 50-50. These things are so freak. Sometimes you never know -- guys are landing wrong. It’s a shame; he’s a real promising kid. We didn’t get to take a look at him in a real game, but he was a guy we would’ve used throughout the season.”
*Midfielder Lewis Neal, who signed two weeks ago, is in his native England awaiting a work permit.
*Defender Dejan Jakovic (groin strain) jogged on the side.
*Dwayne De Rosario, on his fitness: “It’s still developing. I feel a lot better. Hopefully, as a couple of games go by, I should be up to 100 percent.” DeRo was slowed by minor injuries in preseason.
*I asked De Rosario for a prediction on Canada’s Olympic semifinal qualifier against Mexico on Saturday. “Maybe I could see possibly a 1-0 Canada win,” he said with a grin.
And if Canada goes to the Olympics, he would be among the three overage players, right? “I hope so. That would be a dream come true. We’re hoping for World Cup and Olympics.”
The chances of United releasing DeRo for several weeks in the middle of the MLS season to play in the Olympics? I’d say slim. (FIFA doesn’t mandate releases for the Olympics.)
*Awaiting word on United’s late-July friendly plans. We already know Chelsea will play AC Milan at FedEx Field. We know Tottenham wants to play the same weekend in Baltimore. And United has been exploring a possible match around that time. Something is brewing…..