Midfielder Perry Kitchen and goalkeeper Bill Hamid are back with D.C. United after their U.S. under-23 participation, but may be left on the bench for different reasons this week. So reports The Washington Post’s Steven Goff this afternoon at his Soccer Insider blog.
D.C. United, winless in its first three, hosts FC Dallas at RFK Stadium on Friday night (NBC Sports Network, 7:30 p.m. ET).
Kitchen returned injury-free but probably not 100 percent physically, considering he played every minute of three matches over five days (ending Monday).
Said Goff on today’s blog post: “Coach Ben Olsen said he has received second-half updates and that the injury is ‘nothing crazy. I’m sure it’s a sprain or a bruise. We don’t know to what severity.’ ”
Kitchen was a center back for Caleb Porter’s team but mans a holding midfield spot this year for Olsen’s Black and Red. Marcelo Saragosa occupied that position in last week’s scoreless draw at Vancouver and seems set to play the same role Friday.
Effect of it all? Hamid’s backup, Joe Willis, has been more than competent in two starts. So there’s no reason for a stretch here; Hamid can be left to mend, confident that Willis can continue to handle the fill-in assignment.
Kitchen, though young, is a more complete player than Saragosa, more of a blunt-object enforcer. Still, Kansas City dealt physically with FC Dallas, a smaller and more technical team in most positions. And Saragosa can deal with striker Blas Perez (one of the FCD exceptions) when he drifts into the midfield. So no reason to hurry Kitchen back into the fold this weekend, either.