D.C. United have announced that defender Chris Odoi-Atsem has been diagnosed with Stage Two Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is scheduled to undergo four months of chemotherapy at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital under Dr. Philip Cohen, MD.
"I feel truly blessed to have caught this disease at any early stage and have a medical team that is confident that I will make a full recovery,” Chris Odoi-Atsem, United defender, said. "I want to use my situation to raise awareness and help others in similar situations who are going through their own individual battles. This is only temporary, God will see me through and I will be back to where I'm supposed to be. On the soccer field."
Odoi-Atsem, 23, was drafted 12th overall by the Black-and-Red in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft after excelling with the University of Maryland. He made his professional debut for the club as a 90th-minute substitute in the 3-1 win against Atlanta on April 30, 2017. Since making his debut, Odoi-Atsem has made 10 appearances (five starts) and last appeared for the club as a 78th-minute substitute against Columbus on March 24.
“As a club, we want to express our unwavering support for Chris as he goes through treatment to address the Hodgkin's lymphoma,” Dave Kasper, United General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations, said. “He is physically and mentally strong so we know that he is well-equipped to overcome this. The experienced medical staff at MedStar were able to discover it at an early stage and are optimistic that this is highly treatable. We are going to be behind Chris every step of the way in this process."
The defender grew up in Mitchellville, Md., and attended the University of Maryland to play on the NCAA Division I soccer team. In four seasons, Odoi-Atsem scored three goals in 88 appearances for the Terrapins.