Wednesday notes

30 May 1:34 pm

Wednesday notes

By Sebastian Salazar

Nine hours after returning to RFK, D.C. United went back to work early Wednesday

After a grueling extra time win over Richmond in U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night, D.C. United’s players returned to Washington shortly after midnight Wednesday morning.  Less than nine hours later they were back at RFK, some participating in regenerative exercises while others took part in a light training session.

A few leftovers from Open Cup plus some training nuggets:

After a grueling extra time win over Richmond in U.S. OpenCup Tuesday night, D.C. United’s players returned to Washington shortly aftermidnight Wednesday morning.  Lessthan nine hours later they were back at RFK, some participating in regenerativeexercises while others took part in a light training session.

A few leftovers from Open Cup plus some training nuggets:

Tuesday’s victory against the Kickers ensured D.C.’sadvancement to the Open Cup’s ‘Sweet 16’ next week.  The Black-and-Red will face archrival Philadelphia nextTuesday at the club’s second home.

“We love going to the Maryland Soccerplex,” head coach BenOlsen said Wednesday.  “We getgreat support there and we are really looking forward to it.  We are healthy and will be putting avery good team out there.”

With a majority of his players remaining inside RFK for‘regen’, Olsen’s practice had a very intimate feel to it.  One highlight was Robbie Russell’spresence, as the right back returned to training following a brief layoff dueto a left hamstring strain. Despite missing United’s last three matches, Russell is one of only fiveplayers on the roster to have both started every game in which he has appearedand to have already registered over 1,000 minutes this season.

 

While the Black-and-Red’s field players enjoyed a ratherlight day, the same cannot be said for D.C.’s goalkeepers.  Pat Onstad put both Joe Willis and BillHamid through a full workout before the team concluded the session with someclose-range shooting exercises. Willis, who made three saves in Tuesday’s triumph, was fresh off hisfirst game action since May 2.

“I didn’t have a lot to do,” Willis said modestly after thematch.  “I thought I did alright,it was definitely pretty good for my confidence and I felt pretty good aboutit.”

The lone goal surrendered against Richmond came from thepenalty spot, and Willis was reminded of it at the tail end of Wednesday’spractice.  United wrapped the briefsession with a penalty shootout that ended with Hamid and Willis squaring offagainst each other.  Neither goalieproved capable of breaking the deadlock, but the exercise could prove fruitfulin the long run.  D.C.’s last OpenCup meeting with Philadelphia ended in – you guessed it – penalty kicks, asUnited took the shootout 4-2 at the Maryland Soccerplex back in April 2011. 

Finally, many of United’s players will be in attendance atFedExField tonight as the U.S. Men’s National Team squares off against Brazilin a highly anticipated friendly. Not all, however, will be sympathetic to the Yanks’ cause.

“Brazil for sure, what are you talking about?” BrazilianMaicon Santos exclaimed when asked for a prediction.  “Three to nothing. I’m confident man!”

While United’s locker room has been free of discord so farthis season, those comments may test clubhouse unity.  Midfielder Perry Kitchen sounded slightly less confident, butequally bold, in his prediction for Wednesday night.

“2-1,” Kitchen said, pausing for effect.  “U.S.A.”