Nelsen: It felt great to be back
Ryan Nelsen is in his fourth season with D.C. United. He was named an MLS All-Star for the second season in a row. He was also named as a member of the Radio Shack MLS Best XI in 2003.
It's been very difficult to sit out the past few weeks. It's always hard on a personal level when you're injured, because you see your teammates working hard and you want to be out there with them. Prior to last Saturday, it seemed like an eternity since I'd been able to be on the field in a meaningful game with my club.
Even though we lost on Saturday, it felt great to be back. I loved it. I had such a great time out there competing and giving my all. It was my first 90 minutes in a long time, getting out there and roughing it again, playing with the guys. You forget how much fun you have out there. Obviously, losing was tough, but it's good to know you can get through the 90 minutes - not that I'm really fit - coming out of it injury free and feeling strong.
As the league season comes down to the wire, every game for the rest of the season is absolutely huge. With the parity throughout the league, everyone - us, Chicago, New England, and to a lesser extent the MetroStars - stands to feel a bit nervous about missing the playoffs. We've got six games left. We've got some huge Eastern Conference games coming up.
I think if we take care of our four home games, we'll be in good stead. This weekend against Dallas, we want to get three points. This is a game in which we should focus, play together and do whatever it takes to get our result. That would put us right into the middle of the bunch and set us up well for the in-conference games and the remainder of the year.