Josh Wolff
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DC using break to rest, gear up for stretch run

WASHINGTON – With a week and a half between league games, D.C. United have one last chance to rest and recoup before kicking off a four game, eleven day stretch that will define their season.

After Sunday’s loss to the Columbus Crew, DC players had two days off, and were back in training Wednesday preparing for the next match on October 12, a first-ever trip to Vancouver and BC Place.

The time off is much needed.

“It’s a beautiful break,” head coach Ben Olsen said. “I hope it recharges us like the last break did. We’re a little banged up and I think it gives us some time to heal up and recharge and go after these last four games.”

While there is a little bit of a lull between losses, given the grind that looms in a week’s time, it’s a chance to reflect on the last two games and make sure everyone is ready for the make or break season.

“It’s not what we wanted with six games left, to lose both those games,” forward Josh Wolff said.” [This is] a little bit of a chance to regroup certainly and get some guys healthy. We labored into that game in Columbus and showed that we’ve got to have guys ready and willing to perform, whether you’re a starter or a non-starter.”

The last extended break DC had proved to be extremely beneficial, as 20 days elapsed between a 1-0 loss to Sporting KC and a big 3-0 road win over Chivas USA. A similar effort against Vancouver would certainly be beneficial as DC look to erase a five-point gap between them and the final playoff spot.

A big key to that is the health of Dejan Jakovic. The Canadian international sat out training on Tuesday, and hasn’t played since August 21. Along with Jakovic, rookie Ethan White missed Sunday’s loss against the Crew with an MCL sprain and they both can use this week to recover and hopefully be available for next week and the final stretch.

“Both [are] coming along,” Olsen said. “But they’re going to need a couple days to rest and we’ll evaluate them later in the week.”

Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. You can follow him on Twitter @travismclark.

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