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Gros Out, Casal In

Josh Gros got his bell rung last night in Guadalajara and returned to Washington instead of traveling with the team to Denver today for Saturday's MLS opener. The club believes he suffered a concussion, but he'll be further evaluated this week. "It's precautionary," Coach Tom Soehn said. "He had some problems with that in college and we don't want to take any chances."

Gros's roster spot for the opener has been filled by Englishman Kasali Yinka Casal, 19, who had returned to D.C. a few days ago from training camp in Mexico but will now rejoin the club in Colorado Thursday. That does not mean he's going to start -- in fact, it's very unlikely he will start.

What are Soehn's options? He has a few. He could start Stephen deRoux, who played well in Gros's absence Tuesday, on the left and Fred on the right. He could start Ben Olsen on the left, play Clyde Simms and Brian Carroll behind Christian Gomez, and Fred on the right. Or Justin Moose could find his way into the lineup.

Meantime, Shawn Mitchell at the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that former Maryland Terrapin Marc Burch has requested a trade to United after being told he would only be offered a developmental contract by the Crew. United has two open roster spots, but if a deal is worked out, Burch would likely have to accept a developmental deal. (Perhaps he would be happier as developmental in D.C. than in Columbus).

Soehn said he did not want to comment until talks were further along in the process.

Burch, a 22-year-old forward, played three games for Los Angeles in his rookie season last year before being traded to Columbus, where he made seven appearances (five starts) and had one assist.

By Steve Goff  |  April 4, 2007; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Burch to DCU

Comments

I've always been impressed with Burch. He's very good with the ball. Hope DC can get him without giving up much.

Posted by: Andrew | April 4, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone see what actually happened to Josh?

Posted by: Chico | April 4, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I liked watching Burch in his one season at Maryland. I thought it would be interesting to see our National Championship front line reunited in Columbus, but I'll take Marc here.

Posted by: Colm | April 4, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

That's cool. Another forward.

do we even care about the backline?

Posted by: wow | April 4, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

judging from the quote in the dispatch, sounds like burch is OK with a developmental deal in DC, just not columbus:

"(Schmid) told me they were going to bring somebody from Argentina onto the (senior) roster and I would be dropped down to a developmental (slot)," Burch said. "I didn't want to do that here. I thought I didn't get a fair chance to earn a spot."

Posted by: l st | April 4, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Chico, I think Josh took a laser of a ball to the head a few minutes before he sat down.

Posted by: Re: Chico on Josh | April 4, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I hope this concussion isnt like Eskys and hes out the whole season. Gros is the most underrated and underappreaciated guy on United

Posted by: Kenny | April 4, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

gracias

Posted by: Chico | April 4, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

it's funny, the Columbus Dispatch article says that Burch is a defender (it's even in the headline) but everywhere ese I look it says that he's a forward. Is this simply a Columbus Dispatch lack of familiarity with the home team or am I missing something?

Posted by: Diego R. | April 4, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Burch can play left-sided midfielder or forward (sounds a bit like Casal in that regard).

Posted by: Eric Z | April 4, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Was Josh's smack to the face the result of the Chivas player's post-whistle shot? If so, that's mighty crappy.

Posted by: Logan Circle | April 4, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Let's pray for Gros--I'm scared about the assocation of sports head injuries and conditions like Alzheimer's...Ted Johnson, Andre Walters, etc.

As for Burch, I like having Terps in town. I wish we could have gotten Rogers and Garey, too! Too bad about Mediate...

Posted by: jj | April 4, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Logan:

I can remember in the first half, close to the midway line, a Chivas player tried to play a ball forward and it smacked off Gros's head and went out of play, prompting a derisive cheer from the Chivas supporters.

I'm willing to bet that's what caused the problem, it was a hard pass, and Gros staggered for a moment after the ball went out of play.

Nothing intentional or malicious, just good closing down by Gros and bad luck...

Posted by: Bill Urban | April 4, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

who's faster, deRoux or casal?

Posted by: casal has pace | April 4, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The Columbus article said Burch is a defender. Were they trying him at a new position?

Posted by: Neil | April 4, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

Please give us a heads up on the Insider when you're doing a chat. I almost missed it because the new dotcom front page doesn't show a list of the day's chats anymore. That's a pity because the chats are what really distinguishes dotcom from print.

Another comment: my question on the Beckham clock should have ended with :-), but the live online submit box would not accept the smiley :-(

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | April 4, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Diego and others - ever since Burch got to Columbus they've been looking at converting him to a defender (outside back).

Burch has had issues with developmental salaries for some time

http://www.dailybreeze.com/sports/articles/3607921.html

Burch went from LA to Columbus to be closer to home?

http://bigsoccer.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9000690&postcount=24

If you're a forward coming out of college and aren't considered ready for first team minutes at forward, converting positions ASAP is something to consider. Very few forwards languish on the reserve squad at 23 years old for 2 years (in MLS) and then go on to have signficant careers at forward, very few.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 4, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I read the Columbus article about Burch and I'm curious why we don't go after Kotschau. He's a veteran who needs a little work on conditioning but could probably come in at a low price and help us out in case of injury. Thoughts?

Posted by: gomez4prez | April 4, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I missed a chat?

Posted by: Kinney | April 4, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Goff posted that he was having a chat yesterday, two blogs back.

The post.com redesign is really awful though, it only displays one featured discussion, and you have to click through to see the full schedule, which no one is going to do.

Posted by: pat | April 4, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Steve,

I know that the Zidane rumors are a bit tiring, but apparently La Opinion, a spanish newspaper, has an interview with Tim Leiweke in which he practically says the chances of landing ZZ in LA are excellent. Normally, I'd dismiss a ZZ rumor thesedays, but if Mr. Leiweke is in on it, there must be some substance to the rumor.

Posted by: Blackaces | April 4, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I doubt Zidane will be going to LA after I read this:

Middlesbrough midfielder Gaizka Mendieta is close to linking up with David Beckham after American side L.A. Galaxy expressed an interest in signing him this summer.

Why would LA go after ZZ, if they are close to signing this guy?

Posted by: DC United Fan | April 4, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I missed the mention of the chat on the blog. Better to have a item named "Chat Today at Noon." You have to cross-promote among the blog, the chat, and the print.

So LA plans to have Beckham, Zidane, Mendieta, Martino, and Donovan in the midfield? I don't think so. (Yes, I know they list Donovan as a forward)

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | April 4, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey Steve,

Any chance DC could score Celtic defender John Kennedy? He's apparently looking for a loaner deal in the states. We've got the spot open and need a defender...

That is unless we want to play the classic 3-2-6 formation with all of our recent forward signings.

Posted by: Niv | April 4, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Definitely the shot to the face but didn't he also get clocked here from behind in the first leg? With a history of this I am concerned for Josh.
I am ready to see more of the Moose on the loose this Saturday. It that doesn't work out then bring in Yinka dinka du.

Posted by: JMR | April 4, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Hope Josh comes back soon. His energy and activity levels never cease to amaze me.

Is my memory going, or did United say they were going to make several important player acquisitions in the off-season? Maybe my English is going too, because I always thought "several" meant something more than "two."

If this were London instead of Washington (wish it were), we could probably place bets on how many bonehead plays Erpen will make each game.

Posted by: Mitch | April 5, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Mitch: Your English is fine. The English spoken in DC is different from that spoken in the rest of America.

"I didn't say 'two weeks,' I said a couple of weeks."
--Former DC Mayor Marion Berry when asked (two weeks later) to follow-up his statement that he would announce plans for re-election in "a couple of weeks."

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | April 5, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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