D.C. United close to acquiring Peña
Lots of ground to cover here at RFK Stadium. I will share the most important news now and create another thread later.....
*Defender Juan Manuel Peña, who has been on trial with D.C. United for several weeks, has left the country temporarily in order to acquire a work visa and, barring complications, will officially join the roster soon. Whether all the paperwork will be finalized in time for Saturday's opener at Kansas City is another question.
Peña, 37, is from Bolivia, but because he played 14 years in Spain, he gained dual citizenship. To complete the U.S. visa process, he flew to Madrid this week. If he is not available this weekend, Julius James would likely start with Dejan Jakovic in central defense.
*United is close to finalizing plans to play Spanish club Valencia in early August at RFK Stadium. DCU is also exploring major friendlies at home in late May and July.
*Although the roster deadline is Wednesday at 5 p.m., United does not necessarily have to make any personnel decisions. The club is already roster and salary cap compliant, General Manager Dave Kasper said. The players vying for the last roster spots are all on trial, not under contract, so decisions on their future do not have to be made by tomorrow. That said, United would like to finalize the list by this weekend.
For injury updates.....
*Defender-midfielder Devon McTavish (strained groin) ran on the side and defender Bryan Namoff (post-concussion) worked individually with a trainer.
*Midfielder Clyde Simms, who had knee surgery last month and has been training regularly, might start Saturday.
"It feels good, it feels strong," Simms said. "Most of the swelling is out of there, and that was the biggest thing. It was my first knee surgery and I didn't know what to expect. It was a quick recovery. I feel pretty fit but I know the game is totally different than running on the treadmill. If they need me, I think I can [start Saturday], play as much as I can, be honest with them and let them know when I am tired."
Coach Curt Onalfo: "This was his second day training full-out with the team, so we have to see how he progresses throughout the week and make a determination whether he will start or be a reserve player for us in the opening game."
*Onalfo, on facing Kansas City, the team that fired him last summer, in his United head coaching debut: "For us, it's just another game."
He paused and then added with a smile, "My nose is growing like Pinocchio."
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