WASHINGTON – There will be some welcome help for D.C. United aboard their flight Friday morning to Chicago ahead of Saturday’s encounter with the Fire (8:30 pm ET; MLS Live): Eddie Johnson and Chris Korb.
Johnson has been day to day since suffering a concussion during training two weeks ago. The former Seattle Sounders striker stayed in Washington this week – participating in training sessions at RFK Stadium – while many of his teammates traveled to Jamaica for United’s CCL encounter against Waterhouse FC on Wednesday.
“He’s ready to go,” United head coach Ben Olsen said after his side’s training session Thursday morning. “Barring any setbacks he’ll be good to go.”
The timing of Johnson’s return is fortunate for Olsen and company, who’ll be without the services of Fabian Espindola on Saturday while he serves a one-game suspension earned during United’s match against the New York Red Bulls more than a week ago. Johnson seems likely to partner with Luis Silva up top, while David Estrada – who started United’s mid-week CCL match – will likely provide depth off the bench.
United will also welcome back outside back Korb, who’s missed the past six league matches with a nagging hamstring ailment. Korb’s return, too, comes at a fortunate interval for United with regular starter Taylor Kemp set to miss D.C.’s CCL encounter with Tauro FC on Wednesday with a one-game suspension of his own.
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“That would probably be a game where we’ll probably see [him],” said Olsen, adding that Korb would also travel with the team this weekend.
Korb and Kemp will likely battle for the starting spot at left back. Kemp has been a pleasant surprise for United, filling in admirably during Korb’s absence. Though Korb was putting together a fine enough season of his own and may get the nod based on experience. In either case, Olsen will likely be relieved to once again have depth at full back.