DC United took to the RFK practice pitch for the first time this season on Tuesday.
Coming off a training week in Florida, the team came home to cold rain and 37 degrees that felt like 30 (is it possible the wind blowing across the mammoth piles of dirty snow in the parking lot is affecting weather around Anacostia Park?)
The team, upbeat despite the weather, completed a 90-minute drill session. For Marcelo Sarvas, acquired from the Colorado Rapids, it was his first time playing at home with his new squad.
So far, it seems the transfer is working out. “He’s great, he’s just what we thought,” head coach Ben Olsen said. “High energy, composed, good passer, good spirit about him, contagious, has strong leadership qualities so, again, we’re really excited about him.”
Missing from the squad? Forward Conor Doyle, who is headed for Colorado in a separate trade for a third round draft pick. United were quick to praise Doyle, saying, promisingly, the trade was necessary to make budget space “for a future move”.
Those future moves are yet unconfirmed, but after a Epcot-sized blunder from Orlando City SC (moving in on the Black-and-Red’s protected discovery claim), United are unlikely to acquire Antonio Nocerino, the midfielder from Milan (some reports indicate the move is “being finalized”– it’s unclear what United will get in compensation).
While United officials are still holding off comment, it seems Argentina’s Luciano Acosto will join a growing pool of midfielders at Olsen’s disposal. He’s young (21) and small (5’3”), but he can also do this:
Additional trialists have been showing up throughout the week in light of last week’s cuts. As Bill Hamid’s prognosis remains unclear (doctors say 4 to 6 months, Hamid says 3), German keeper Benjamin Kirsten has been added to the pre-season roster. He’ll join presumed starter Andrew Dykstra, Travis Worra and trialist Chris Konopka as managers search out the solution to depth problems in goal.
The 3 month plan. In motion. ?
— Bill Hamid (@BillHamid28) January 22, 2016
With the second leg of the CONCACAF quarterfinal scheduled for RFK on March 1st, there’s still time for players to get to know one another, as well as for the parking lot snow to melt.
The team will return to Florida today for the second leg of their preseason training trip, where they will take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Philadelphia Union and Montreal Impact. Unlike in leg 1, these games will be streamed for free on DC United’s website.