Following days off on Sunday and Monday, D.C. United hit the training field hard at RFK Stadium Tuesday morning. After a brisk warm-up, the team broke down into possession exercises prior to extended rounds of 5 v 5 on a field about the size of the 18-yard box. The small-sided games featured numerous goals, a heightened focus and good attitude – all positive signs for the club ahead of its matchup with the Philadelphia Union on Sunday night at 5 p.m.
Frustrated with his team’s performance following its third straight loss, D.C. United coach Ben Olsen said Saturday that the club needed to fix something. He went so far as to suggest looking within the league for a trade partner.
A solution to United’s scoring woes (two goals in six matches), however, could possibly come from within as forward Casey Townsend, on loan to the Richmond Kickers, scored twice in a 4-1 victory against Charleston on Saturday.
When Dejan Jakovic tries to recollect his most vivid soccer memory, he takes a long pause and contemplates the question for a while. Ethnically Serbian, the D.C. United central defender and his family moved to Toronto, Canada at a young age after fleeing from the war-torn former Yugoslavia. The many twists and turns his path in life has taken – from Croatia, to Ontario, to Alabama for college, to Serbia and finally here in the nation’s capital – provide for a plethora of options. After some ruminating, the 27-year-old chuckles after sharing the story.
On Wednesday, midfielder Chris Pontius and defender James Riley paid a visit to a huge D.C. United fan, Jason Pak, who landed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after a deployment to Afghanistan. On November 4, 2012 in Zangabad, Pak went on foot patrol with his unit when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion occurred. Pak was the only one affected, taking the brunt of the blast.
D.C. United is set to play host to the New York Red Bulls for the second leg of the 2013 Atlantic Cup on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; Romantica 900 AM / MLS Direct Kick Package). This marks the first match back at home for United after having its club record-breaking home-unbeaten streak (19) snapped in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew on March 23. And the Black-and-Red will also be looking to bounce back from a 1-0 road loss to Sporting Kansas City last Friday, April 5 with a win at RFK Stadium.