D.C. United forward Alecko Eskandarian is certainly living the life of an All-Star on the eve of his first appearance in the mid-season classic. This morning, he joined deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis, fellow All-Star Landon Donovan and Celebration Game participant Alexi Lalas to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. It marks the first time that representatives from Major League Soccer have participated in the ceremony.
Eskandarian's tour continues on Wednesday, as the Black-and-Red striker will make an appearance on 'Cold Pizza', ESPN2's "Morning Show with Everything." Airing from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET, 'Cold Pizza' is an irreverent blend of sports, pop culture and news tailored to the ESPN audience. Eskandarian is scheduled to appear during the 8:00-9:00 hour, with a repeat between 10:00-11:00 a.m.
The whirlwind tour continues on Friday, as Eskandarian will return to Washington, DC to take part in a training session with his Eastern Conference All-Star teammates that morning. Following the media interview session and luncheon, he will head out into the Washington, DC community to lead one of the Sierra Mist Soccer Shocker clinics.
On Saturday, he will finally get down to the on-field business of being an All-Star as he, along with Jaime Moreno and several of his United teammates take on the Western Conference in the Sierra Mist All-Star game.
Several good seats still remain for the event, with festivities scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact D.C. United at 202-587-5000.
From the Trainer's Table
Perhaps no team in the league is happier to see the All-Star break than United. With several players nursing injuries, the week-long break comes at an opportune time. In addition to minor knocks that are plaguing several members of the Black-and-Red, Nick Rimando, Santino Quaranta and Ryan Nelsen will visit specialists during the off week for surgical procedures.
Rimando is seeing team doctors this afternoon in order to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The UCLA-product should be able to return to action in three weeks.
Despite making a return to the pitch against Nottingham Forest, Quaranta continues to experience extreme discomfort near the site of his earlier surgeries. On the advice of the team medical staff, he will undergo a surgical debridement at Georgetown University Hospital on Wednesday in order to remove scar tissue. Quaranta will be out of United's line-up for an additional four to six weeks.
Nelsen's abdominal strain also presented symptoms similar to a sports hernia and Milwaukee-based Dr. Richard Cattey has determined surgical repair of the area is necessary. Nelsen, named to the Eastern Conference All-Star starting XI, will have the procedure tomorrow and miss four to six weeks of action.
United has brought three trialists into training this week: Trinidad and Tobago youth international midfielder Addae Rique, currently with the St. Louis Steamers of the MISL; defender Kevin Taylor, chosen in the third round of the 2004 SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids; and forward Uche Chinyere, a native Nigerian based in Jamaica. Not seeing what they needed, United ended the tryouts for all three following today's session. The club will return to full squad training after the All-Star break.