Due to injuries and a bevy of international call-ups, D.C. United were able only to name four players to the bench rather than the normal seven on Saturday. To say the roster was depleted would be an understatement.
Of the starting XI, two players, Ian Harkes and Chris Durkin, made their first starts since July. Kevin Ellis, signed just days prior, played 11 minutes and Jared Jeffrey logged only his second minute of the season.
But, United fought for a 1-1 draw away to New York City FC and reinforcements are on the way ahead of their match Wednesday against Minnesota United FC (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info) as Paul Arriola (United States) and Darren Mattocks (Jamaica) are returning from international duty early.
“I’m very thankful to have been able to represent the USMNT once again and although I am sad not to be taking part in the friendly against our rival Mexico, I am also excited to get back to playing for D.C. United to continue our strong push for a playoff spot," Arriola said. "I appreciate Dave [Sarachan] and the rest of the national team technical staff for allowing me to get back to my club for Wednesday’s important match against Minnesota.”
Arriola started and played 55 minutes in USA's 2-0 loss to Brazil while Mattocks scored a brace for Jamaica in their 4-0 win against the Cayman Islands in a Concacaf Nations League match.
United's match against the Loons is the first of their seven straight home matches. They trail the Montreal Impact by five points for the final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand.