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D.C. United news & notes

D.C. United’s Branko Boskovic remains in the mix for Montenegro call-ups but declined the latest invitation. (Getty Images)

*D.C. United midfielder Branko Boskovic said he turned down a call-up to the Montenegro national team for a 2014 World Cup qualifier at Ukraine on Oct. 16.

“The coach two days ago called me again. He wants me there, but I really want to focus on D.C. United and the playoffs,” Boskovic said. He wouldn’t have missed either of United’s final two regular season matches, but at age 32, he said travel to Europe takes a toll and he would risk injury in training or the match.

“It’s better, for me and my body, to stay here and try to get to the playoffs. There, maybe I play 30 minutes, maybe I come from the bench. I just go there almost like holiday and just be with the group.”

Montenegro, England and Poland have four points apiece through two matches each in UEFA’s Group H.

Forward Hamdi Salihi (Albania) and defender Dejan Jakovic (Canada) will report for international duty after United’s league match at Toronto FC on Saturday. It’s an easy transition for Jakovic — the Canada squad will gather near Toronto on Monday ahead of next Friday’s vital qualifier against Cuba at BMO Field.

“It worked out nice,” said Jakovic, who is from Etobicoke, just west of downtown Toronto. “The [DCU] guys leave, I’m going home, see the ‘fam’, spend the night with them and then head over to camp.”

The U.S. roster won’t come out until Monday, and although Juergen Klinsmann and his staff have been monitoring Chris Pontius during his terrific season with United, an invitation at this late stage of semifinal-round qualifying is doubtful — especially with Landon Donovan back in the fold, Clint Dempsey in form and Graham Zusi coming off a strong performance against Jamaica in Columbus.

*Injury update: Center back Emiliano Dudar (bruised knee) is working out on the side but will miss the Toronto match. Midfielder Raphael Augusto (quadriceps knee), and forwards Long Tan (ankle) and Josh Wolff (back) are out. Midfielder Stephen King (hernia surgery) has been training.

Dwayne De Rosario, recovering from a sprained knee ligament, is planning to travel to Toronto … but just to visit family in his hometown.

*Defender-midfielder Conor Shanosky, a 2011 homegrown signing, rejoined the club after a season-long loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the second-division NASL. He is eligible to play in reserve games but not league matches, General Manager Dave Kasper said. Shanosky, 20, made 26 starts and played 2,232 minutes — both team highs among field players.

*United’s reserve match against Toronto, scheduled to be played at BMO immediately after the league game Saturday, has been postponed — the latest in a series of disruptions to the reserve schedule this year. United has played just six; most clubs have had nine or 10. DCU is slated to play Philadelphia’s reserves on Tuesday afternoon in Chester, Pa.

*United has reached agreement to spend a portion of 2013 preseason training camp at Lake Sylvan Park in Sanford, Fla., near Orlando. Five other MLS clubs — Kansas City has committed — will also set up in the area and participate in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, Feb. 9-23. United will not play in the Charleston, S.C., tournament in 2013.



Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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