WASHINGTON – D.C. United got back to work Monday morning, eyeing Wednesday’s matchup with the Seattle Sounders and trying to shake off a three-game losing streak across all competitions.
DC coach Ben Olsen was a prominent figure during the team’s session, which lasted more than two hours, stopping drills at different points to make sure players saw his point, his voice bellowing loudly across the field.
While the team isn’t ready to panic just yet, but there is concern after another mistake-ridden performance in Houston.
“We’re not in a state of panic, but it’s real worrisome,” midfielder Santino Quaranta said.
[inline_node:330576]A short week can be a hindrance in other circumstances, but for some of the D.C. United players, they are anxious to get back out there and erase the memories of last Friday’s 4-1 loss against the Dynamo.
“For us, it’s good to have a game so soon after a loss like that to Houston,” midfielder Dax McCarty said. “You always want to get back on the field and make things right.”
Olsen indicated that there would be changes in the starting lineup, although he declined to go into significant detail as to what that might look like Wednesday evening.
After conceding eight goals in the last two league games – and 11 in the last three, counting last week’s US Open Cup qualifier – changes in the lineup are inevitable for a team looking to steady the ship.
“Everybody has to understand that this is not a hobby,” Quaranta said. “This is our job. The passion wasn’t there and that’s unacceptable.”
A likely change could be the return of Andy Najar to the starting lineup. The winger spent some time with the first team and could get the nod against Seattle.
But the bigger focus will be on the back line. Through seven games, DC have now conceded 16 goals on the season, including 12 in just three games. With Jed Zayner possibly back on the injury shelf – he left Friday’s game after re-injuring his hamstring and sat out Monday’s training – another back four could be used Wednesday evening.
For Olsen, it’s all part of the building process – a stretch that has been more difficult than he would have liked.
“This is still a process,” Olsen said. “There’s going to be some speed bumps with it, and I was hoping we wouldn’t have as big of bumps as we did last weekend, but we’re still in this together and it’s still very early.”