With its top keepers sidelined, United will turn to Travis Worra, a second-year pro who made his first MLS start last Saturday, and Charlie Horton, a U.S. under-23 national team candidate who signed two weeks ago. General Manager Dave Kasper said the club has not ruled out acquiring help from MLS or abroad.
“Travis is coming off a terrific performance and has progressed very nicely since last year,” Kasper said. “We have full confidence in him stepping into the role. Charlie is getting sharper by the day.”
Worra, 22, handled himself well but was not seriously tested in posting a shutout last weekend, a 0-0 result against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. His only other regular season appearance came last April as a second-half substitute at Vancouver. Most of his rookie season was spent with the third-division Richmond Kickers, United’s USL affiliates.
Dykstra, an Osbourn Park High and Virginia Commonwealth University graduate in his fifth season with United, started both CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matches and the MLS opener at Los Angeles on March 6. Back spasms sidelined him in the middle of last week and prevented him from accompanying the team to Foxborough, Mass.
Dykstra, 30, saw a specialist Monday and underwent an MRI exam, which revealed the disk ailment.
“We really feel for Andrew,” Kasper said, “but we are confident in him making a full recovery.”
In 2014, Dykstra tore an Achilles’ tendon late in the summer and missed the remainder of the season. As Hamid’s back-up last year, Dykstra started nine regular season matches, as well as Champions League and U.S. Open Cup games.
Had Hamid and Dykstra remained healthy, Worra probably would have returned to Richmond this season. But Hamid’s injury elevated Worra to No. 2 on the depth chart.
Hamid’s injury also prompted United to sign Horton, 21, a former Leeds United prospect who has not played in a serious match since last November. Highly regarded in U.S. soccer circles, Horton left England last fall for family reasons and returned to Ohio.
Hamid was ruled out for four to six months and is on schedule to return as early as mid-May, Kasper said.
United (0-1-1) will make its regular season home debut Sunday against the Colorado Rapids (1-1-0). Kickoff at RFK Stadium is at 5 p.m. (ESPN2).