On a humid Tuesday morning, D.C. United took to the training field for the first time since drawing 1-1 with Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night. Having the day off yesterday, the Black-and-Red hit the ground running with agilities to warm up and a passing drill. The starters returned inside to do regeneration while those who didn’t log big minutes remained outside for possession and a hard-fought scrimmage.
United Rolls On with a Positive Outlook
With the seven-game losing streak now in the rear view, the Black-and-Red looks to take on Portland with confidence and optimism. MLS rookie Kyle Porter notched his first career League goal Sunday night vs. Sporting while midfielder Chris Pontius recorded his second assist of the year during his first game back from injury. As it is still early in the week, the team is currently focused on cleaning up some minor errors from Sunday, but intends to switch focus tomorrow towards preparing for the Timbers. Ahead of a quality team coming into RFK this weekend, D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen is optimistic about his squad, especially now that several key players are well on their way back from injury.
“I look forward to [Nick DeLeon] being on the field consistently for us,” said Olsen. “I look forward to Chris Pontius getting back, and JT [John Thorrington] is coming along slowly. All this stuff is going to help. I like the spirit—our group is gutsy.”
Three Trialists for D.C.
Three trialists joined United for today’s training session and will remain in D.C. for the rest of the week. Forward Mike Grella, a New York native, played at Duke University. Grella continued his career at Leeds and most recently played for Scunthorpe United. Peter Gregory, 20, started his career at Portsmouth after playing with the club through his youth. The full back/winger most recently played for Nottingham Forest. The third trialist with United this week is Jesjua Angoy Cruijff, a midfielder from Wigan Athletic and grandson of the legendary Dutch players Johan Cruijff.
Richmond Kickers Play in the Open Cup Tonight
United’s USL Pro affiliate Richmond Kickers take on Icon FC tonight at 7 p.m. at Richmond City Stadium in the second round of the 100th annual Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Two of the Black-and-Red’s own, Andrew Dykstra and Michael Seaton, will be “Cup-tied” with Richmond in helping the Kickers battle tonight.
The winner of the match will advance to the third round of the Open Cup to take on D.C. United. That game will be played on May 28, but the location is dependent on tonight’s winner. If the Kickers advance, the Black-and-Red will travel to Richmond, but if Icon FC is victorious, United will host the amateur side at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.