Behind the badge: The injury bug
D.C. United has been stricken with a number of injuries over the past weeks. The calls to the hospital began in the off-season when veteran midfielder Dema Kovalenko (out for Saturdy's game with Kansas City) underwent a Jones fracture fixation to the fifth metatarsal of the left foot on January 13. They continued on March 25 when defender Brian Namoff (doubtful) suffered an avulsion fracture to a rib during training for the season opener with CD Chivas USA. Another solid defender, Brandon Prideaux (probable), went down with a hamstring strain on March 12 and when United faced-off against New England on April 23 the Black-and-Red lost more than the game.
Defender David Stokes (out) was forced out of the game with a concussion and neck strain, target winger Steve Guppy (doubtful) pulled-up with a strained hamstring, and 2004 MLS Cup MVP Alecko Eskandarian (probable) left at halftime with a quadriceps contusion.
Fox Soccer Channel
MLS season 10 marks the third consecutive year that Fox Soccer Channel will carry live telecasts nationally from the premier soccer league in the United States. D.C. United earned nine broadcast dates, including a May 21 rematch of MLS Cup 2004 against the Kansas City Wizards. The June 4 match-up with the San Jose Earthquakes scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. ET will now air at 10:30 p.m.
"We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause our fans, but this simply means that we will start beating up on D.C. United one half-hour later," quipped Alexi Lalas, President and General Manager of the two-time MLS champions Earthquakes (not to be confused with four-time champions D.C. United).
The remainder of the D.C. United broadcast schedule on FSC is: May 28 vs. F.C. Dallas, June 4 vs. San Jose, June 18 vs. New England, July 2 vs. Columbus, August 20 vs. Los Angeles, September 3 vs. Colorado and September 10 vs. FC Dallas.
Banquet Chair Kevin Payne
D.C. United President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Payne will serve as Banquet Chair for the upcoming U.S. Soccer Foundation's semi-annual banquet. The event will be held at the Marriott in Wardman Park, Washington, D.C., on the evening of Sept. 15. Joining Payne as an Honorary Chairman will be His Serene Highness Crown Prince Albert of Monaco. This event will commemorate the organization's 10-year anniversary with the theme "Celebrating the Past, Building the Future."
The preliminary stages of 2005 would lead one to believe the Black-and-Red cannot repeat as MLS Champions, but do not forget that last season began much the same way as 2005.
The 2004 season began with a sluggish start before the team came together and ripped through the MLS Cup Playoffs. United's current record, a 1-2-1 mark over their first four fixtures, is identical to last season's. The Black-and-Red only need to win one of their next two games to improve on last season's marks.