Jimmy Conrad’s status remains questionable for this weekend’s match against the Houston Dynamo as he recovers from a strained calf.
Conrad participated in limited possession drills with the full squad on Wednesday and has been working out on his own and with the team’s training staff. He said he hopes to factor in some capacity against the Dynamo.
Should Conrad see any action, it will almost certainly be off the bench as Matt Besler and Pablo Escobar played well in his absence against the LA Galaxy last Saturday. Listening to Conrad and manager Peter Vermes discuss the situation, it seems more than likely that the veteran defender will be held out of action as a precaution.
“We’re not going to put him in a position where we are trying to use him for this game and the next thing you know he’s out for another three weeks,” Vermes said. “He’s got a lot of things to consider, and we are going to be sure we’re doing right by him for the long term, not the short term.”
Conrad said the injury most likely resulted from a knee to the back that he received in the Wizards’ U.S. Open Cup loss to the Colorado Rapids. He said the combination of overuse and the pressure the blow put on his sciatic nerve were likely the culprits.
“It just caused me to run a little bit different,” Conrad said. “I was running on my toe, and it was just overuse on that calf.”
Wizards take care of business in scrimmage
Kei Kamara scored two early goals and Josh Wolff, Davy Arnaud, Sunil Chhetri, Igor Kostrov and Santiago Hirsig added the others in a 7-1 victory against Baker University at Kansas City’s Swope Park training facility.
The Wizards starting 11 played the first 45 minutes against Baker, jumping to a 4-1 advantage, and the team’s reserves put the finishing touches on the midweek tuneup. Vermes said having the ability to see players against competition outside the team allowed the coaching staff to teach a competitive environment without points on the line.
“These games always provide us with lessons that we can learn from,” Vermes said. “Today was one of those situations. It helped us in a lot of ways that are hard to measure.”
Vermes said the most important tidbit to come out of Wednesday’s scrimmage was the team’s tendency to lose focus at times. He pointed to the Baker’s goal in the first half, and also specifically mentioned the breakdown on Saturday against LA that led to Landon Donovan’s breakaway chance.
“Sometimes we have lapses of concentration,” Vermes said. “When we do, its about how our reaction is after that and what it takes to get us back on track again.”
Two foreign trialists training with Kansas City
In what has already been a hectic offseason of player acquisition, two new faces are on the Wizards’ radar.
A left-sided midfield player and a center back have been training with the team for the past week. Vermes, who didn’t mention names, said the midfielder had last played in Honduras and the defender in the French first division.
“We’re always going to continue to try to improve our roster,” Vermes said. “That’s always been our motto, and we’ll continue to do that.”