D.C. United awaits disciplinary decision on Dwayne De Rosario
By Steven Goff,
De Rosario, the club’s playmaker and most influential player, was ejected for his involvement in a fray early in the second half of Saturday’s 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. Former teammate Danny Cruz accused De Rosario of head-butting him on the nose.
The match was not part of official MLS competition, meaning the red card did not result in an automatic one-game suspension. However, the league’s disciplinary committee can review such incidents and impose penalties if the infractions are judged to have been egregious, an MLS spokesman said.
United officials said Tuesday they were aware the league was looking into the matter and hoping for a ruling as soon as possible to adjust the lineup in case De Rosario is suspended for Saturday’s opener against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
“We’ll see what the verdict is,” Coach Ben Olsen said.
MLS might have trouble rendering a verdict: The game was not televised or streamed online.
De Rosario, who had declined an interview request after the match, declined to address Cruz’s accusation Tuesday.
“It was a scuffle,” he said. “It was what it was. There was a lot of pushing going on. It was one of those unfortunate things.”
Cruz, who was traded by United last summer for forward Lionard Pajoy, was not seriously injured and remained in the game.
“It is part of the competitiveness, but I would never think to head-butt anybody on the field,” Cruz said Saturday. “If that is what he’s about, that’s fine, but that’s not what I am about.”
Cruz said Tuesday that he has had no lasting effects from the incident.
Sanchez deal is done
United finalized the acquisition of midfielder Marcos Sanchez on a one-year loan from Panamanian club Tauro. Financial terms were not disclosed. The club will have the option to purchase his contract at the end of the season, General Manager Dave Kasper said.
Sanchez, 23, joined the club on a tryout two weeks ago and performed well in several preseason appearances. He had an assist on United’s second goal Saturday.
Sanchez, a right-sided player projected to back up starter Nick DeLeon, is a regular with Panama’s national team and is slated to report for World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica and Honduras in late March.
With the release of second-year midfielder Lance Rozeboom on Monday, United appears to have just one roster move left to announce: the signing of Canadian midfielder Kyle Porter, who has practiced with the club all month and agreed to terms last week. . . .
Joe Willis, United’s second-choice goalkeeper, remains sidelined with a foot injury. Andrew Dykstra is expected to back up Bill Hamid in the opener. . . .
United is in negotiations with multiple outlets for a local TV partnership, club executive Doug Hicks said. Comcast SportsNet (and its predecessor, Home Team Sports) has carried United matches for all but one of the previous 17 seasons.
However, United is seeking to broaden its exposure with non-game productions, such as a coach’s show, and broker a multiyear agreement. United and CSN had one-year deals each of the past two seasons after the expiration of a four-year pact.
Hicks declined to name other interested parties.
The other all-sports regional channel, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, carries the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles along the same calendar as the MLS season and probably wouldn’t be able to serve United’s needs.
NBC Sports Network will carry the opener, but coverage of the first home game, March 9 against Real Salt Lake, hinges on the terms of a local package.