Rookie Report: Anibaba, Balchan regulars

Defenders lead the way in Week 5; Paul makes Chicago debut
Rookie Report

Jalil Anibaba, Chicago Fire

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Few rookies this season have been as integral to their clubs as Chicago Fire defender Jalil Anibaba.

Last week, the University of North Carolina graduate played all 180 minutes in losses to Portland and the LA Galaxy and has now gone the distance in each of the Fire’s first five games.

DC looking healthy again after bout of sickness

Ben Olsen happy with understudies' performances during absences
DC nearing full health

Ben Olsen

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WASHINGTON – Last week D.C. United players were dropping like flies.

Prior to Saturday’s game against Toronto, a flu-like bug had been making its way through a number of first-team players. Perry Kitchen, who had picked up a bug while away at Guatemala, trained intermittently throughout the week. Andy Najar was a late scratch ahead of Toronto and Dejan Jakovic came out of that game in the 73rd minute, hampered with an illness.

Olsen has confidence in United's young defense

'Keeper Hamid and 3 rookie defenders help shutout Toronto FC
Olsen confident in young D

WASHINGTON – At the final whistle of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Toronto, three of D.C. United’s back four were rookies: Ethan White, Perry Kitchen and Chris Korb. Add left back Marc Burch and 20-year-old goalie Bill Hamid to the mix, and the defensive core had an average age of just 21.

When asked after Tuesday’s training session about having three rookies in defense, it hadn’t even registered with head coach Ben Olsen.

Food trucks for April 21 match vs NY Red Bulls

DC-based food trucks in Lot 8 at 5:30 PM
Food trucks for 4/21

Eat Wonky truck

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Supporters are encouraged to follow each of the five food trucks on Twitter. Ticket plans and game packages, as well as individual game tickets, are available for purchase at

» Vote for D.C. United vs NY Red Bulls on Facebook and you would win an adidas match ball

Tailgate drink prices: 16oz PBR $3, 24oz Corona $5, 24oz Modello $5, Bottle Water $2

Talking Tactics: Cutting diamonds in Salt Lake and New York

Different looks from two similar-looking midfields
Tactics: MLS diamond mids

Two prominent MLS sides drive forward behind diamond-shaped midfields. Jason Kreis has Real Salt Lake aiming for historic heights with a midfield diamond. And Hans Backe has a midfield diamond whirling at Red Bull Arena—a midfield that that may finally have arrived at full rev over the weekend in a convincing win over San Jose.

But every diamond-shaped midfield in a 4-4-2 formation certainly is not the same. To presume so would be like telling a wine lover that every pinot noir is the same.

VIDEO: Atlantic Cup highlights

Memorable moments from D.C. United's previous matches against New York
Atlantic Cup highlights

What RSL are really playing for in the CCL final

Why you need to support Real Salt Lake
What RSL are playing for


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NEW YORK – For all intents and purposes, it doesn’t get any bigger than this for Real Salt Lake. Or for MLS, for that matter.

The CONCACAF Champions League is the apex of professional soccer in our region, the ultimate goal for any club chasing its broader ambitions. And with MLS enjoying a period of growth and bristling confidence, it’s time for one of the league’s clubs to make a larger statement. For everyone’s sake.

MLS Power Rankings: Week 5

As Crew make their move, Fire go down in flames
Power Rankings: Week 5

A month into the MLS season and we're starting to separate the best from the rest. But what to do about Columbus? And Houston? How much do Portland's two wins mean in the rankings? Our panel fought it out after another tough week of results for the latest rankings. Got an issue? Vote for your own!

All match times for this week's games are ET, only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule.

Chris Pontius named Lenkersdorfer Fine Jewelers Man of the Match

The United midfielder earns fan honor after two goal performance
Pontius named MOTM - Match 5

Chris Pontius was named Lenkersdorfer Fine Jewelers Man of the Match for Matchday 5 of the MLS Regular Season today based on fan voting conducted on Pontius scored two goals for the Black-and-Red against Toronto FC and helped the team earn its first road win of the season.


After each match, visit visit or to cast your vote. Every match you vote in earns you another chance to win.

Fit, in-form Pontius proving dangerous for United

Midfielder recovered from injury-plauged 2010, bags 2 at TFC
Pontius finally fit again

One of the many reasons for optimism at the start of D.C. United’s 2011 season was the prospect of finally having a healthy Chris Pontius. Through five games, it’s been all systems go for the third-year product out of UC Santa Barbara.

After a solid start to his MLS career, the 2009 Rookie of the Year finalist suffered a hamstring injury early in 2010 that hampered him throughout the rest of that season. When playing he would deal with pain, and the injury eventually ended his season early in August. Pontius had surgery to repair it in September.

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