Although Hurricane Frances's remnants are nowhere near the nation's capital yet, it had an unexpected impact on the Black-and-Red over the weekend.
United defender Ezra Hendrickson was called in for national team duty, as his St. Vincent and The Grenadines side prepared to battle Group C foes Mexico and St. Kitts and Nevis in qualifying for World Cup 2006. He had joined the team in Miami for training camp, but before the team could continue on to Pachuca, the storm slammed into the Sunshine State.
The team convened in Ft. Lauderdale on September 1st for a short training camp. They were scheduled to fly out of Miami International for Saturday's match against Mexico, but Frances had other plans. Other than the change of plans, the team suffered no ill effects from the hurricane. Vincy Heat, as the team is affectionately known, will host St. Kitts and Nevis as scheduled on Wednesday night, looking to continue their strong form as of late. In the first match of the semifinal round of CONCACAF Qualifying, St. Vincent and The Grenadines held even with Trinidad and Tobago for most of the match, eventually falling by a 2-0 scoreline.
Rain or shine, Hendrickson is scheduled to return to full training with the Black-and-Red on Thursday, and should be available for selection as D.C. United takes on the Dallas Burn this Saturday.
On the Mend
Also re-joining the Black-and-Red for full training this week is forward Alecko Eskandarian. Eskandarian, who currently sits among the League leaders with seven goals, has been sidelined for the past few weeks with a left ankle sprain.
Eskandarian made a sprightly return to this morning's training session and should also be available for selection in Saturday's match against Dallas.
Teeing It Up For Charity
Last week, D.C. United's charitable arm, United for D.C., announced a sell-out for the Third Annual United for D.C. Celebrity Golf Tournament presented by United Bank. Reston National Golf Course will again host the event, with a shotgun start set for Monday, September 13th at 9:00 a.m. Each foursome will be partnered with a local celebrity in this captain's choice best-ball event. Participants in this year's event will play alongside current and former United players and coaches, as well as a host of other local sports and media celebrities.