Just when things have turned around, just when the playoffs are around the corner, something goes terribly wrong.
According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, leading scorer Luis Silva is out for 4-6 weeks with a hamstring injury, meaning he would be out for most of the playoffs, only making a return should the club make it deep into the playoffs.
Word from Goff’s report is that Silva strained his hammy in the first half of DC’s 3-1 win at Houston, and with the club nearing completion of their worst-to-first trip and looking for more, the timing of the injury is difficult to swallow for DC sports fans.
In 27 games this season, Silva has 11 goals, which leads DC United. Fabian Espindola has 10, while Chris Rolfe and Eddie Johnson are next with six each.
However, despite the timing of the injury, it’s not as deadly as it may initially seem. With just two matches remaining in the regular season, United’s fate is all but sealed for the playoffs. They are eliminated from Supporter’s Shield contention, but could only blow the East’s top seed with a pair of losses to close out the year and two wins by either Sporting KC or New England.
That means DC is not set to play a truly meaningful match until November 1 or 2, but Silva would still be out by then according to Goff’s timetable. The Eastern Conference finals are set for November 22, which falls in the early part of the reported window of return, so it’s possible Silva could be back for that series, or even part of it. The MLS Cup finals are scheduled for early December.
Whether Silva is going to miss one playoff series or the whole thing, DC is going to have to lean heavily on Eddie Johnson for goals up front, manager Ben Olsen confirmed in Goff’s report, and the loss of Silva could be season-altering. Johnson was resigned to the bench as Silva and Espindola began to click together up front.
We will update this space as more information becomes available.