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Final preparations for Colorado

Moreno left behind for personal reasons

Chad Ashton

Photo Credit: 
Tony Quinn/Getty Images

FINAL PREPARATIONS

D.C. United players gathered this morning for a team walk and stretch, as the team eyes this evening's contest at Dick's Sporting Goods Park vs. the near-playoff-bound Colorado Rapids. The Black-and-Red men will reconvene at 3pm MT for a team meal ahead of the trip north to Commerce City. Following his dismissal in last weekend's game against Houston, Interim Head Coach Ben Olsen will not be on the bench this evening as he serves a 1-game suspension. While Olsen will prepare his team ahead of the game, Assistant Coaches Chad Ashton, Mark Simpson and Kris Kelderman will oversee tonight's game management.

MORENO LEFT BEHIND

D.C. United's all-time leading goal-scorer, Jaime Moreno, will not be available for selection tonight, as the 36-year-old forward remained in DC for personal reasons. Moreno's absence, coupled with a host of injuries and a 1-game suspension for defender Julius James (yellow card accumulation), means Olsen and staff will have just 16 players from which to choose their squad this evening.

ASHTON HOMECOMING

This weekend's game in Denver means a return to familiar ground for Interim Assistant Coach Chad Ashton. Ashton grew up in the Denver area and was named the Colorado High School Player of the Year in 1986. After his playing career, he spent ten years as the Head Coach at the University of Denver, where he compiled a record of 85-85-14. He left Denver as the second most winningest coach in school history and was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year twice (2004, 2006). It's safe to assume Ashton will have a number of friends and family in the stands for tonight's contest.

WHERE TO WATCH

As tonight's game will not be broadcast locally in DC, consider watching the game with other United fans at one of the club's bar partners. You can also watch via the Direct Kick package. Contact your cable operator for more information. Kickoff is set for 9pm ET.