Flores had undergone scans on the orbital bones around his right eye.
The team’s marquee signing in the offseason, Flores will miss at least the remaining four matches of the first phase of MLS’s return to home markets. The last 12 games, running from mid-September until Nov. 8, might be announced next week.
With Flores sidelined, United is without its two highest-paid players, known in MLS as designated players; winger Paul Arriola tore an ACL in the preseason. Defenders Oniel Fisher and Chris Odoi-Atsem are injured as well, having missed the past two matches with undisclosed ailments. They are “rounding the corner and should be ready to go very shortly,” Olsen said.
Flores’s injury occurred early in the second half Tuesday night. He and Alexander Büttner leaped for the ball in midfield. Flores dipped his head a bit and absorbed a blow to the right temple.
Both players went down. Büttner needed a moment to recover and remained in the match until late in the second half. Flores stayed on the ground for several minutes as the medical staff treated him. He walked off the field with assistance and was taken to an ambulance under the east side of the stadium.
Flores, 26, has had a rough time since United acquired him from Mexican club Morelia in January in the largest transfer in D.C. history ($5 million). He has played in six of seven matches (five starts) but has yet to record a goal or an assist.
His influence on games has fallen well short of expectations as Coach Ben Olsen has used him on the right wing, central midfield and, on Tuesday, at forward. Flores was partly responsible for New England’s first goal; his giveaway just outside the penalty area led to Gustavo Bou’s 22-yard strike.
Flores was hurt for part of the preseason in February, and at the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida last month, a hamstring injury slowed his progress ahead of the regular season restart last week. He played the last 30 minutes at Cincinnati on Aug. 21 and started Tuesday.
Aside from MLS duty, Flores was slated to rejoin the Peruvian national team in early October for its first two 2022 World Cup qualifiers. He has made 51 international appearances and scored 13 goals. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he started all three group-stage matches.
D.C. United at Philadelphia Union
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Subaru Park, Chester, Pa.
TV: WJLA 24/7 News.
Live stream: dcunited.com
Records: United 1-3-3, 6 points; Union 3-1-3, 12 points.
D.C. probable starters: GK Bill Hamid; D Frédéric Brillant, Donovan Pines, Steven Birnbaum; MF Julian Gressel, Júnior Moreno, Felipe Martins, Yamil Asad, Kevin Paredes; F Ulises Segura, Ola Kamara.
Philadelphia probable starters: GK Andre Blake; D Raymon Gaddis, Mark McKenzie, Jack Elliott, Matt Real; MF Jose Martinez, Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro, Brenden Aaronson; F Sergio Santos, Kacper Przybylko.