Attacker Edison Flores, who departed in the first minute with a hamstring strain, will miss at least six weeks, club officials said Wednesday. Drew Skundrich, a second-division midfielder who jetted into the lineup after a strong preseason, suffered a knee injury that might require meniscus surgery.
United (2-5-0) already was bracing for Flores’s extended absence. After Saturday’s match at Miami, he was to join the Peruvian national team for up to six weeks for two 2022 World Cup qualifiers and Copa America, the South American championship, June 13-July 10.
Instead of reporting to his national team, Flores will undergo treatment in Washington with the aim of returning to MLS duty in early-to-mid July.
Flores, United’s highest-paid player who has started all seven matches, was just beginning to hit his stride in recent weeks after a disappointing 2020 campaign and a slow start this year. He and forward Adrien Pérez had forged a vibrant partnership in Coach Hernán Losada’s proactive system.
Skundrich had made three consecutive starts since United upgraded his contract to MLS status from USL’s Loudoun United, D.C.'s developmental squad. The team said it will monitor his recovery and determine within 10 days whether surgery is necessary.
These injuries come as other players have returned. Winger Paul Arriola (quadriceps) has started the past two matches, and defender Donovan Pines made his season debut Sunday as a second-half substitute after returning from Achilles’ tendinitis. Winger Kevin Paredes (knee) has appeared in two games.
Bill Hamid, the first-string goalkeeper, is on the cusp of returning from preseason hernia and calf injuries, and forward Yordy Reyna (hamstring) is expected to make his 2021 debut soon.
Defenders Steven Birnbaum (ankle) and Chris Odoi-Atsem (lower body) and forwards Nigel Robertha (hamstring) and Erik Sorga (quadriceps) remain out.
After this weekend’s game, United will lose defensive midfielder Júnior Moreno for several weeks to the Venezuelan national team for two World Cup qualifiers and Copa America.
Notes: United tapped into Atlanta’s player personnel office for the second time this spring, hiring Sean Howe as director of scouting. Howe was an Atlanta scout and video analyst for 2½ years. In Washington, he reunites with Lucy Rushton, who in April was named United’s general manager, making her the second female GM in MLS history.
Read more on soccer: