Tuesday training notes

DeLeon’s injury update; Ian Harkes training with the First Team; Bye week

Nick DeLeon - 2012

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Yesterday’s early snowfall and late rain forced a change in venue for training this morning, sending the team across the river to Long Bridge Park in Arlington, Va., for a session in cold and windy conditions. After some warm-up exercises and passing work, the team played a few small-sided games before ending the session with 7v7 games.
 
DeLeon injury update
In the 31st minute of D.C. United’s 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew, United midfielder and 2012 Rookie of the Year finalist Nick DeLeon pulled up short and had to leave the field for a hamstring strain. After undergoing tests on Monday and Tuesday, it was revealed that DeLeon suffered a grade-two hamstring strain and is expected to miss about six weeks – a better result than was originally expected following the game. DeLeon will rehab on a daily basis at RFK Stadium in the hopes of returning to play as soon as physically possible.
 
Ian Harkes joins first team training
D.C. United Academy U-18 standout Ian Harkes (Fairfax, Va.; Herndon Youth Soccer) joined the Black-and-Red First Team for training this morning. The son of D.C. United and U.S. Men’s National Team legend John Harkes has made a splash in United’s Academy systems, most recently scoring in the U-18s 5-1 win over the Richmond Strikers this weekend. Harkes, who has committed to Wake Forest University to play collegiately, will train with the First Team this week while on spring break.

No match this week
After only four matches into the 2013 regular season, D.C. United (1-2-1) will have a bye this weekend before resuming play at Sporting Kansas City (1-1-2) on Friday, April 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
 
“It wasn’t the best four games to start the season, so it gives us a little time to regroup and work on some stuff,” said D.C. United defender Chris Korb. “This stretch of games has been pretty tough, but I think we’ve held strong as a defensive [unit].”
 
D.C. United defender Brandon McDonald added that he thinks the team can only improve going forward in the season.
 
“We are just trying to find our groove and find our niche as a team,” said McDonald. “We’re a team. We defend as a unit and we attack as a unit. Collectively, we just got to get better at keeping our possession and moving forward.”