D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who remained in Sunday’s match despite suffering a groin injury in the early moments, is likely to play this weekend after the results of an MRI exam came back negative.
The club considers him day to day ahead of Saturday’s game against the Montreal Impact at RFK Stadium. He did not practice Tuesday.
“I think he’ll be okay,” Coach Ben Olsen said, “but he needs a day or two to get looked at and get scanned.”
Hamid made two sterling saves in the first three minutes of the 3-1 victory at Atlanta, a performance that prevented the match from quickly getting out of hand. The MLS expansion side did score moments later, but trailing by only one, D.C. remained in the mix and responded with two goals before halftime.
On the second stop, Hamid seemed to strain a muscle in kicking out his right leg and extending his left while thwarting Hector Villalba’s attempt. Hamid was treated on the field for several minutes. He stayed in the game, but as a precaution, defender Bobby Boswell took the goal kicks.
Late in the match, Hamid made two high-quality saves. Afterward, he said he never thought he needed to leave the match, either at the time of the injury or at halftime, when players with muscle injuries typically withdraw.
On Tuesday, Hamid declined to go into detail about the injury, deferring to the staff and saying, “I’m trying to stay positive right now and keep my head in the right place.”
Hamid has been in terrific form in starting all eight matches (3-3-2). Travis Worra (13 career starts) is the primary backup. Third choice Eric Klenofsky, a second-round draft pick in January, is recovering from minor knee surgery that was performed last week. In training Tuesday, Worra and a youth academy member manned the nets.
Meantime, defender-midfielder Nick DeLeon will see a sports hernia specialist in California. If surgery is required, it would occur right away. Recovery time for such procedures is at least a month. DeLeon has missed two matches.
Midfielder Patrick Nyarko, sidelined for three games with a strained hamstring, will return sometime in May but the club hasn’t set a specific timetable. Defender Steve Birnbaum continues to do ball work on the side at training but must pass concussion protocol before rejoining full sessions. He’ll probably miss a third consecutive match this weekend.
>> United is close to signing defender Chris Korb, who hasn’t played since August 2015 because of recurring knee problems stemming from an ACL injury. Korb, 29, has made 96 league starts since joining the organization in 2011. United did not renew his contract last winter but allowed him to continue training on a trial basis.
Korb’s likely signing is unrelated to next Monday’s MLS transfer deadline as free agents, such as Korb, remain available. United is unlikely to make any other moves until the summer window opens in early July.
>> United kept possession for only 26.1 percent of Sunday’s match, the lowest figure for a winning team in MLS since 2010.
Is Olsen concerned about the lack of ball control?
“What concerns me is whether we pick up points on the road,” he said. “It doesn’t do me any good to try to have 60 percent of the ball and eat it, 5-0, against them. I don’t give a [darn] about the numbers.”
Olsen then grew irritated.
“Yeah, we can still connect more passes, we can still make life easier on ourselves throughout the game with a little more composure or making the right decision. But again, it continues for us to win a game, I’ve got to make excuses and get backhanded compliments all the time. Give these guys some credit: They are working very hard and they earned a result in a tough place. This stuff gets a little old.”
>> Midfielder Lloyd Sam was fortunate to escape injury when Yamil Asad’s elbow grazed his jaw in the 80th minute. Asad received a yellow card and was fortunate not to get sent off, although he was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount by the MLS disciplinary committee on Tuesday afternoon.
“Luckily it kind of brushed past me rather than get the full contact,” Sam said Tuesday. “If I got the full contact, I wouldn’t be standing here right now, I don’t think. I got lucky there.”
Asad also cracked Sam across the right leg after the ball was gone.
Asked if he thought Asad’s action deserved a suspension, Sam said: “I leave that up to them [MLS]. I’m happy we got three points and got out of there.”
He then deadpanned: “And I’m happy I got away with my life.”
>> When Sam departed in the 90th minute, he was replaced by first-round draft kick Chris Odoi-Atsem. The former DeMatha High and University of Maryland defender was, however, a bit too eager to make his pro debut.
“He was in a rush to come on,” Sam said, smiling. “The ref was telling me to hurry up. I was saying I don’t have to run, so I was walking off. But then I look and Chris is on field and I’m like, ‘There he is right there.’ We laughed about it afterward.”
Said the rookie: “Lloyd was taking a little too long. He was walking, taking his time. I just jogged on the field. The fourth official didn’t say anything to me. Lloyd stopped me and told me, ‘We’re up by two goals, a few minutes left, wait for me to get off the field.’ It was a good lesson.”