*Chris Pontius, who missed the Columbus match with a groin injury, practiced today and appears on course to make the game-day roster against the Houston Dynamo at RFK Stadium on Wednesday. Nick DeLeon, out for six weeks with a hamstring ailment, is training regularly and moving closer to a return.
*It was a good weekend for United’s young loaners at third-division Richmond. A day after teenager Michael Seaton scored in his pro debut, Conor Shanosky posted his first professional goal Saturday with a stoppage-time equalizer during a 3-3 draw against the Charlotte Eagles. [The full video package is available here: skip ahead to 3:30 to see Shanosky’s goal.]
All five players loaned to the Kickers (3-0-2) trained with United today, leaving open the possibility one or more will be in uniform against Houston. Forward Casey Townsend and defender Taylor Kemp were summoned for recent first-team matches.
Richmond will host Antigua Barracuda (0-5-0) this Saturday night at City Stadium.
*The MLS transfer window closes today, and as expected, United will not sign anyone, General Manager Dave Kasper said. The pickings are slim this time of year, and the club will continue to work the trade market and look ahead to the summer signing period, July 9-Aug. 8.
*The term “perfect storm” is terribly overused, but we’re going to cite anyway, because if ever there were an appropriate time to apply it toward forecasting attendance, it’s ahead of Wednesday’s game. Here’s why:
*United is a league-worst 1-6-1. The losing streak is five, including three at home. The shutout total is five.
*Like most MLS teams, United does not draw well for mid-week matches. This is D.C.’s only one of the season.
*The early forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of rain with scattered thunderstorms.
*Kickoff is at 7 p.m., when rush hour (on the roads and rails) lingers.
*The local TV deal kicks in Wednesday, with Comcast SportsNet launching its 16-game package. Because of a scheduling conflict, however, the game will appear on CSN+ (channel guide here) and simulcast on NewsChannel 8.
*Weather permitting, three miles away, the Washington Nationals will host the Detroit Tigers.
*The Washington Capitals will play Game 4 of their NHL playoff series against the New York Rangers. Madison Square Garden is the venue, but Comcast SportsNet has the live coverage.
Ticket sales are over 8,000, United officials said, which means the record-low attendance figure for a regular season home match is not in danger. However, United has not drawn fewer than 10,000 since 2009. The 2012 low was 10,291.
The smallest announced crowds in DCU regular season history, according to the club’s record book:
1996: 7,360 (New England)
1996: 7,422 (Columbus)
2009: 8,033 (Kansas City)
1996: 8,053 (New York)
1996: 9,457 (Kansas City)
1997: 9,675 (New England)
1997: 9,686 (New York)
1998: 9,755 (San Jose)
Announced attendance (tickets distributed) and actual eyewitnesses are two different things. While the official number could eclipse 10,000, the weather, traffic and general disgust with the club’s standing could make for a lonely evening at RFK.