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Training Notes: Thursday

With Saturday's opener looming, United took their training inside RFK

Assistant Coach Chad Ashton monitors practice

Photo Credit: 
Nicolas Fernandez/dcunited.com

A few notes from D.C. United's final open practice before Saturday night's MLS First Kick against Sporting Kansas City.

BOOMER MAKES THE CUT

After his first practice since officially signing with the club on Wednesday, Lance Rozeboom was all smiles Thursday afternoon. With his first professional contract now in hand, the supplemental draft choice acknowledged just how difficult it was earlier this preseason when he was, essentially, playing for a job.

"Absolutely it was tough," Rozeboom admitted. "Even in every practice, I knew I could be gone the next day. That's a tough situation to be in. To see all the trialists come in and out, it's hard for sure."

Rozeboom credited his time at the University of New Mexico with preparing him for the challenge of earning employment in MLS. A versatile player who can serve in many positions centrally, don't be surprised if Boomer - as he's come to be called by the D.C. staff - is in the 18 on Saturday.

FINISHING WITH APLOMB

When United signed Maicon Santos during the offseason, the Black-and-Red were bringing in a player who perfectly fit the definition of streaky. After scoring ten goals in basically a season's worth of work in Toronto, Santos never found his rhythm with Dallas following a mid-season trade.

Fortunately for D.C., the Brazilian may be on the verge of a hot streak. In United's final preseason match, Santos broke free of Charleston's defense and did well to finish from distance with his left foot. During finishing drills on Tuesday and Thursday, the 27-year-old was on point again, scoring from every conceivable angle. On Tuesday, a clever near-post tap-in drew audible praise from Ben Olsen.

Likely to be used in a reserve role, Santos - who would probably replace Hamdi Salihi as United's target forward - should find some instant chemistry with Dwayne De Rosario. The pair played together in Toronto, and DeRo has praised Santos' ability to play with his back to goal throughout the preseason.