Wednesday notes

Nick DeLeon continues to improve and DeRo picks a few of his favorite goals

As his team continues preparations for Saturday's critical Eastern Conference showdown against New England, Ben Olsen closed practice to the media on Wednesday morning. Here are a few notes from after the session.


After a sensational start to his rookie season,Nick DeLeon has had to deal with the frustrations of missing time.  A hamstring strain has essentiallyrobbed the dangerous winger of the last month, but after training on WednesdayDeLeon said his injured left leg felt 'fine' and that he was hopeful forinclusion in Saturday's gameday roster.

"When you are injured you are always goingto lose fitness," admitted D.C.'s Rookie of the Year candidate. "As much as you want to ride a bike or whatever, game fitness is adifferent kind of fitness all together. When you start to come back you just have to bust your butt to get thatextra fitness back.  That's whereI'm at right now."

DeLeon's absence hasn't hit D.C. as hard asmight have been expected considering he tallied three goals and three assistsover his first nine games as a pro. But with Danny Cruz's injury, United's wing depth will be tested throughthe next months in both league and U.S. Open Cup play.


Dwayne De Rosario has scored some great goalsin his 12-year MLS career.  AsD.C.'s captain sits just two tallies shy of reaching the 100-goal career mark,he took some time to name a few of his favorite strikes after Wednesday'straining.  In no particular order he chose:

This free kick against the L.A. Galaxy:

This volley against D.C. United. (Sorry):

And one goal we couldn't find video of.  A strike which came an MLS-record 11seconds into a 2003 match against the Dallas Burn.

To what does DeRo credit his flair for thespectacular?

"I was in the right place at the righttime," chuckled the reigning MVP of Major League Soccer.  "I closed my eyes every time I hitit."