*D.C. United seems to have survived the illness bug that afflicted the club for about a week. There were two issues: gastrointestinal, which, um, gutted rookie defender Perry Kitchen and a separate strain that weakened a few players.
Some have colds, but everyone without physical injuries should be available Thursday night against the New York Red Bulls at RFK Stadium (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
“It seems like it’s leaving,” Coach Ben Olsen said. “It was like every other day a guy was coming in. For the most part, it’s through us. Physically, we’re in a pretty good spot. We have a lot of choices on my end.”
Defender Jed Zayner (hamstring) remains out, midfielder Junior Carreiro (ankle) worked out on the side at Tuesday’s training session and defender Devon McTavish (concussion) is sidelined. McTavish was jogging Tuesday but continues to feel pressure in his head.
“Jed is slowly coming along,” Olsen said. “We’re going to be real safe and get it right, so we can have him for the rest of the year.
[Chris] Korb has done a pretty good job filling in for him. [Ethan] White has done a pretty good job filling in while Perry was gone. That’s what this is about: We need to be deep and get guys experience.”
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*Goalkeeper Steve Cronin (wrist) will come off the injured list next week but will probably need a couple of weeks to seriously compete for playing time. Bill Hamid has performed well since his return two weeks ago and, at the moment, is not in jeopardy of losing the starting gig.
Player/assistant Pat Onstad has been a strong influence on Hamid, Olsen said.
“In a lot of ways, they are opposites, as far as what kind of goalkeepers they are. Some of the things Pat can teach Bill, if he can get a good grasp of those things, the sky is the limit for Bill because the athletic ability is there. What made Pat so special is the mental side of being a goalkeeper, and he’s going to give that to Bill day in and day out, and hopefully make Bill the goalkeeper we all want to see.”
*Olsen, on the rivalry with the Red Bulls: “I tried to explain it [to the players] a little bit today, what it means. It’s been a little lopsided over the history of this league, but now it’s a little different. They are the favorites and they are the team with the stars and putting on some really good performances. It’s going to be a great measuring stick of where we are right now because they’ve got some real players out there. It’s a much better team than Toronto is at this point, so it’s a big challenge for us, but it’s exciting. It’s going to be a big night for our young team.”
*Lightning interrupted practice briefly, forcing players to pile into vans and an SUV as a precaution.
*Cindi Harkes, wife of Hall of Famer John Harkes and a former University of Virginia star, was named assistant coach of D.C. United Women, which will compete in the second-tier W-League. The team will conduct a tryout Saturday at noon at Maryland SoccerPlex (field No. 18). There is a $50 fee. Registration is available at the team’s Web site.