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Monday training notes

Jakovic travels to Qatar; Hamid earns MLS Player of the Week

Dejan Jakovic diving header

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

In weather not much unlike Saturday’s cold and snowy climate against the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United (1-1-1) returned to the training pitch to begin preparations for its second home game against the Columbus Crew (Saturday, March 23 at 3:30 p.m.; NBC Sports Network). After some light conditioning, players moved on to one-touch passing drills and then went inside for a Pilates session.

JAKOVIC TRAVELING TO QATAR
With his recent call-up to the Canada Men’s National Team, Dejan Jakovic will travel to Qatar shortly to make a 16-hour trek for friendlies against Japan and Belarus. As such, the central defender will be unavailable for United’s next match against the Columbus Crew, with Homegrown defender Ethan White a leading candidate to fill in for him.

“[White] worked really hard in the offseason,” said D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen. “He’s fit and, you know, right now he’s just gotta make sure he’s ready if and when he’s called upon because he will be called upon at some point this year.”

Jakovic has made 14 appearances (13 starts) for Canada, most recently going the full 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw with the U.S on Jan. 29.

HAMID EARNS MLS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After seven saves against New York on Saturday – one shy of tying a single-game career-best – the North American Soccer Reporters selected Bill Hamid as MLS’ Player of the Week. Despite a barrage of shots fired at him, Hamid stuffed the Red Bulls and helped United earn a crucial road point at Red Bull Arena.

“You want to make those saves,” said Hamid. “You want it to be a complete performance, a team performance and, you know, for them to not have that many chances. But when I’m called upon, I want to do my job and be there for my teammates.”

With his name omitted from today’s U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup qualifying roster, the Homegrown netminder continues to make his case for inclusion. After three games in 2013, Hamid leads the League in saves (13), shutout streak minutes (181) and shutouts (2).