Overcoming a 2-0 deficit against a high-functioning New York Red Bulls unit is a big problem, but one that’s getting a little easier for DC United.
The Black-and-Red have been limited by injuries to three important players, all of whom should be available for this weekend’s second leg at home.
While Chris Rolfe and Sean Franklin were available in reserve roles in the first leg, attacking wizard Luis Silva has missed the past four weeks with a hamstring injury. The former Toronto FC player has 11 goals in 25 MLS matches this season for DC.
The Washington Post’s Steven Goff says all three can feature this weekend, and that Silva has returned to regular training:
United’s co-leading scorer said he felt “no soreness or tightness. That is always good news. I think I am still fit. I haven’t lost a lot of fitness compared to other players that have been out longer.
“If my body is responding well, anything I can help out with, I will be ready. Hopefully they will clear me to play. One day at a time, as of right now. I am excited, I am anxious and I want to be out there helping my teammates.”
Without identifying them directly, Coach Ben Olsen implied Silva and Chris Rolfe would begin the day in reserve. Rolfe returned from a two-month injury layoff Sunday, entering in the 74th minute.
Franklin should start after playing just 20 minutes on Sunday. That’ll be a boon for Olsen in trying to stop Bradley Wright-Phillips, Thierry Henry and company, while anything from Rolfe and Silva could really prod DCU forward. Whether it’ll be enough to overcome a 2-0 deficit is another thing, but it is good news.