For Ethan White, last season was a year lost to injury.
Following a standout rookie campaign where White started 21 games for D.C. United, the University of Maryland product was sidelined by a knee surgery in March and didn’t play for the first team in 2012.
This Saturday, however, White could have a chance to step back onto the pitch at RFK. With Dejan Jakovic in Qatar with the Canadian National team, White is an attractive option for coach Ben Olsen to select to play alongside Brandon McDonald at center back. White earned his way into the 18 last weekend ahead of D.C.’s match against New York.
“I haven’t played since my rookie year coming off injury, so when somebody goes out it’s always a chance to step up and if I get called upon I need to do my job,” White said. “I worked really hard in preseason and I feel like I’m back to where I was coming out of college, so hopefully I can get some playing time.”
Before Jakovic took off for Canada’s friendlies, he expressed pleasure over how the team’s defense – which has recorded two clean sheets in three matches – was performing. Especially the central defense.
“There’s no reason why I don’t think me and BMac should be one of the best center back pairings in the league,” he said. “So hopefully we can build on that.”
Saturday against Columbus, McDonald will need to build with someone else and White’s hoping, for the first time since October 2011, that it’s him.
White logged 1,928 minutes in his rookie year and scored a goal before going on loan to Richmond on four occasions, making six appearances, in 2012.
“If I do get called upon,” White said after putting in some extra work at training, “it’s my time to prove that I deserve to be back in the mix and if I am called upon, I’ll be ready.”