Christian Benteke suffers injury scare as DC United draw Toronto FC 


Just after the hour mark in D.C. United’s 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday, MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi candidate Christian Benteke was forced off the field with a non-contact injury.

Luckily for the Black-and-Red, it doesn’t seem serious.

“[It’s] just a little bit of a muscular issue,” head coach Troy Lesesne said postmatch of the Belgian international. “I’m not even sure exactly where it is, but I don’t think it’s going to be severe or out for a few weeks. But it’s obviously enough to bring him out of the match. We’ll see over the next couple of weeks how he recovers. It’s good we have this international break.”

By going scoreless in Matchday 18, Benteke fell to second place in the Golden Boot race on 13 goals, three behind Real Salt Lake’s Chicho Arango, who netted a hat trick against Austin FC on Saturday night.

Nonetheless, Lesesne will be eager to get his influential striker back into the squad by the time his team returns from the FIFA international break on June 15 at Charlotte FC (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

“Without Christian [Benteke] our group looks a lot different,” Lesesne admitted. “I’m very hopeful that he’s going to recover quickly and not be out for very long… Over the course of the next 17 matches, if we want to have a chance to get where we want to get, we need Christian Benteke in our lineup.”

The initial signs show United’s supporting cast is prepared to step up and provide the goals in Benteke’s absence.

Entering the match on Saturday, the Belgian striker was the only D.C. player to have scored multiple goals this season. However, Ted Ku-DiPietro (79’) and Mateusz Klich (90+5’) changed that quickly with each scoring their second goal of the year to overturn a 2-0 deficit and salvage a point at home against nine-man Toronto.

“The way that we fought back is what the expectation is now. This is the type of behavior that we want to see,” said Lesesne. “The way that we fight and the way that we continue to go at the match – that’s something that the group can feel good about going into this break.”