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United's Burch, Simms suffer injuries

D.C. United's Marc Burch, the starting left back last season and a candidate to add depth to a thin central defense corps this year, suffered a foot injury that might sideline him for months, the Insider has learned. No details were available, but he is being evaluated by the team's medical staff to determine a course of action.

A club spokesman did not want to comment at this time.

Burch, a former University of Maryland standout, has averaged 20 starts in league play the past three years.

In addition, starting midfielder Clyde Simms might be out for at least three weeks with a knee ailment.

United's season opener at Kansas City is 3 1/2 weeks away.

The injuries come at a time when midfielder-forward Santino Quaranta has returned in impressive style from foot surgery, midfielder Danny Szetela has recovered from minor knee surgery and defender Bryan Namoff is making strides in his comeback from post-concussion syndrome.

Keep reading.....

*General Manager Dave Kasper, on Namoff's status: "We all really believe his discomfort is coming from whiplash in his neck. He is doing a lot of massage therapy, he did some more exercises yesterday -- pushups, situps, bike work. We'll see how he feels and we're actually hoping he can join us in Charleston [starting March 12] and continue to progress with the exercise. We're cautiously optimistic. We don't want to rush him. This thing has to really run its course. ... It's been the same message [from specialists]: 'He's going to get through this, he will overcome this and be back on the field.' "

*Coach Curt Onalfo added: "Based on his progress, will he start the opening game? It's unlikely. We'll know more in the next couple weeks as he progresses."

*Shintaro Hatada, on trial from Crystal Palace Baltimore, has played as both a defender and midfielder but will probably be tested as a center back in United camp.

*Reading between the lines, I don't believe United has any intention of signing defender Quiarol Arzu, who returned to Honduras after a couple weeks on trial. Jamaican defender Jermaine Taylor, whose planned trial was undermined by injury, will not join the team anytime soon. Other trialists are possible in the coming weeks.

"We're constantly looking," Onalfo said. "The decision is: Can we make it work with the players we have and the salary cap implications? There are a lot of factors there. Our attitude is that we believe in the players that we have and we will continue to make them better. Right now, we feel very comfortable with what we have. We feel like we have a lot of good options there."

*United will depart for Mexico on Friday and play a friendly against Santos Laguna next Wednesday.

*Technical director Chad Ashton will depart tonight on a scouting mission to Brazil and will attend numerous matches over the next week.

By Steve Goff  |  March 2, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: D.C. United's midfield and Quaranta's role

Comments

Uh oh, here comes chicken little! Looks like Morsink is having his case made for him eh?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

if we're getting injuries playing u-17 and second rate college teams this is going to be a long season

Posted by: Springfie1d | March 2, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

OT: interesting piece on Fabio Capello:

http://www.potomacsoccerwire.com/news/5322/10265

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 2, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Onalfo said,

"Right now, we feel very comfortable with what we have."

Why would you feel comfortable when haven't improved much on a team that did not make the playoffs two straight years? Also, I think these types of statements make players complacent in their current roles. The players should not be comfortable after the last two season and comments like these don't help motivation.

It sucks that Burch is hurt, but lets face it he was a marginal player at best. I do not see this team being very good this year. The backline is pretty much the same and we lost a creative MF and goal scorer.

Posted by: no_recess | March 2, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. Wasn't Onalfo bragging about his training tactics that led his team in KC to have the fewest injuries of any MLS team? I guess RFK is just cursed…

Losing Burch and Simms at the same time could be very significant, seeing as how Rodney Wallace is the most qualified replacement for both of them. I don't want to rush back Simms either, because the last thing we need is for him to aggravate his knee and turn a 3-week injury into a 3-month injury. Burch was looking to be the leading candidate to start next to Jakovic in central defense, so I guess we will see James starting, and McTavish as the only backup currently on the roster.

Here's hoping Chad Ashton finds a gem down in Brazil!

Posted by: DCUMD | March 2, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Onalfo feels comfortable....I don't.

Posted by: Atlanta4MLS | March 2, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...defense.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 2, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

We need some significant signings yesterday. Why is that so darn difficult to do?

Posted by: TheDane1 | March 2, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Aye carumba. It's very hard to get excited about this season...

Posted by: carmines757 | March 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

With all of these injuries, a strike that delays the start of the season might not be so bad for United.

(j/k...it'd be horrible)

Despite what is being said, I have to believe that Kasper and Onalfo are concerned about the dearth of healthy talent on defense. I mean, they've GOT to be.

Posted by: chemweapon | March 2, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I missed some signings but aren't we currently well under the salary cap?

Posted by: strago | March 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

So, another day in a typical preseason of DC United. Players arrive for trial. Players leave from trial and 'await a decision' from the club. Meanwhile, major contributors have potentially serious injuries evaluated and assistant coaches wonder around countries due south for (let's face it) gold in the rough? [available to copy and paste into any following season]

Posted by: inzzo79 | March 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

OK, *wander. But, wondering might make sense also.

Luckily, I've always been a Philly sports fan. The rivalry will be great so that's something going for both teams this year.

Posted by: inzzo79 | March 2, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS (unless someone else just posted it in which case it is old news)

Just got off the phone with Cox Fairfax Business to order sports tier for my office and asked about Fox Soccer Plus. If you already had Setanta it will automatically switch to Plus on same channel (298). If you don't have it, since they just closed the deal yesterday it's going to take a few days to get the new account codes into their system but they expect by tomorrow or Thursday to be able to accept new orders.

And no, I don't have any openings in my office to hire summer help. I can only afford one non-productive member of my team (Me!) between now and the end of World Cup.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | March 2, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Injuries are not a good thing. We can agree on that. Losing Simms isn't good, but it sounds short-term. Losing Burch is a depth thing now (didn't he have a foot injury last year, or the year before?). He wasn't going to start this year, unless James stunk it up @ CB. Wallace is the LB. I guess we're left hoping Harada and/or Rice impresses enough to give us CB depth, and Adams shows enough to land a back-up LB slot. Or, Ashton finds someone(s) in Brazil.

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I think we're going to regret losing that draft pick, which would have either been McInerney or Okugo, both of whom are going to make Nowak a happy man.

As for the injuries, I think the administration is doing it's darnedest to make sure we have time to rest and recuperate. Meaning I have no idea when we're actually going to play.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 2, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The bright side: no hamstring issues!

Posted by: Reignking | March 2, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

No defense!.....Can't score goals! Thank God there's a labor dispute!

Posted by: section108 | March 2, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I missed some signings but aren't we currently well under the salary cap?

Posted by: strago | March 2, 2010 12:36 PM |

---------------------------------------------------------

Almost certainly well under the cap. I'm guessing probably at least $450-$500k under (not that they'll need all that room for a half-season DP). Fred for Perkins is a wash, but no Emilio (DP room), and no Olsen or Gomez (both made more than Allsopp and Castillo must be getting). Plus, the cap is supposed to go up -- probably another $100-$150k.

Either there's just nothing out there, or the team is saving a bunch of room for big summer signing(s).

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Re. Namoff, a lingering whiplash issue is better than a lingering concussion issue, isn't it? I'll take that as good news.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | March 2, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Morsink? Kurt Morsink? When did we pick him up or he just trialing? Either way, I'm excited to see a fellow Duke in the black and red.

Posted by: Josh86 | March 2, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Unless the team has someone on the radar they aren't telling us about, it seems very silly to start the season this far under the cap. I mean, its not like its going to save old Vic any cash.

Posted by: strago | March 2, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Morsink was cut by KC last week. Onalfo brought him in, presumably on a trial, though no announcement was made. He just showed up in one of the games on Friday.

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@strago -- I'm guessing the team is hoping to land some big name talent after the World Cup.

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

C'mon TH14

Posted by: me_ahogo | March 2, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Not going to find any defenders in Brazil. Might as well be looking for virgins.

Fischy, what makes you think Wallace is the starting LB? He led the world in fouls committed last season, and couldn't clear the ball if his life depended on it.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 2, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"Not going to find any defenders in Brazil."

R. Carlos, Dani Alves, Maicon, and on and on . . .

Posted by: delantero | March 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

More importantly:

Now that is it after March 1st, does anyone know if Comcast in DC will carry FSC+ or FSCHD? If so what channel? Right now I only find FSC on 725.

Thanks

Posted by: DCU-ManU | March 2, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@DCU-ManU,

Comcast's "customer service" has hinted that they will be available and are part of this whole Xfinity branding/roll-out.

We'll see.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 2, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@GoG -- We had a Brazilian defender last year, until Roger had second thoughts.

As for Wallace, his upside is higher than Burch's. The team was trying out Burch at CB this preseason. Suggests to me the writing was on the wall. Yeah, Wallace needs work, but Burch got beat at crucial times last year. I think Wallace and Castillo could be a great combo on the left side.

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Sprinf1eld:

That doesn't make any sense. First, people get injured during something as low-intensity as the pre-game warmup. A scrimmage is a more likely place to get hurt.

Second, Simms didn't even play in those games, so his injury could not have been caused by them.

Third, if you actually think about it, low-end college soccer and teens who haven't quite grown into their bodies in terms of coordination are more likely to cause injury. College soccer is absurdly physical, because most of the time that's the only real ability a lot of the players have.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 2, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Namoff hurt his brain bone in a league game. He then was allowed to play in the following game, a USOC game, and according to him it was in that latter game that he sustained the neck injury that has hampered him. DCU and it management (Kasper and Soehn) are the ones to blame for Namoff's continued absence.

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 2, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@ Chesty - "Third, if you actually think about it, low-end college soccer and teens who haven't quite grown into their bodies in terms of coordination are more likely to cause injury. College soccer is absurdly physical, because most of the time that's the only real ability a lot of the players have."

It works both ways, remember when Stoichkov almost ended the playing career of a promising young player from American U.?

Posted by: soccerman | March 2, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Harrisburg-Philadelphia Union affiliation deal: "The City Islanders will become a key part of Philadelphia’s player development strategy, as the club will have the option to loan players to Harrisburg for increased playing time. As partners, both clubs will also work to help identify City Islander players who have the potential to make the leap to MLS."

To recap -- The Rapids have a deal with Real Maryland. Now, the Union have a deal with Harrisburg. These teams have figured out there's value in affiliating with lower level sides. DCU needs to get on the stick -- cut a similar deal with CP Baltimore or the Richmond Kickers. It's just common sense in terms of managing a roster, and it helps expand the brand into neighboring areas.

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Fischy, what makes you think Wallace is the starting LB? He led the world in fouls committed last season

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | March 2, 2010 1:27 PM
---------------------------------------

Actually, in terms of fouls committed per 90 minutes, Wallace doesn't show up in the league top 10. However, a certain Mr. Olsen of DCU does appear at #8. Perhaps you're confusing Wallace with the top MLS fouler of 2008, Rod Dyachenko?

All this and more at: http://usasoccer.blogspot.com/2009/11/mls-foul-awards-2009.html

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

RSL has a deal with Austin.

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

D.C. United's Marc Burch, the starting left back last season and a candidate to add depth to a thin central defense corps this year, suffered a foot injury that might sideline him for months,
=========================

Must be the left foot if it will keep him from playing . . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | March 2, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

.

Y'know, he does use his right foot to balance when he kicks with his left.

Posted by: fischy | March 2, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Q&A with Shintaro. He lives in Balto, so he won't have to move when the stadium gets built.

http://goal.com/en-us/news/145/goalcom-features/2009/10/08/1549109/give-go-crystal-palaces-shintaro-harada

Posted by: OWNTF | March 2, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Luck of the Irish MY @$$! B!tchBaby Robinho was offside by a country mile! Lame!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey, maybe United could set one up with the Silverbacks. I mean, 50/50 chance they'll be in Atlanta soon enough, right?

;)

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 2, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

DudeRyan, I gotta admit, sometimes you frighten me...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 2, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

anyone got a matchtracker for the brazil game? i can't seem to find one.

DR:post running commentary!

Posted by: troy6 | March 2, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Salary cap! We just cut three international salaries and Olsen. Come on coach. Management is just cheap.Get out there and get us a quality center midfielder. Money talks to the fans about the ownership's commitment to the team.

Posted by: lemovs1 | March 2, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Ramires coming on for Adriano and Dani Alvies for Gafite in the 64th or so... Alves almost scores seconds after taking the field...

Sorry Troy, I had really lost interest after seeing such a terribly blown call resulting in a goal against Ireland.

I'll keep watching, Brazil still up 1-0 in the 67th.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

OK Dad, now I understand...

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | March 2, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"I gotta admit, sometimes you frighten me..."
Posted by: Rand-al-Thor

Why? I apologize if my reaction is a little barbed, but it seems like every time I try to watch Ireland play they are robbed by terrible officiating. As for Robinho... is he not a pip squeak, baby emulating little b!tch? Seriously?

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

And of course while I'm explaining myself, you witness his second display of exactly what I was talking about. That's his first shot on goal for christ's sake! I'm turning this off! The kid is up. I'm done.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

There's no reason for management to go "cheap" i.e. under the cap, since MLSHQ pays all non-DP salaries.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 2, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Sigh... It feels like it's been a long time since there was any DCU news to get excited about.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been thinking all winter that any day now we're going to hear about the signing of a high impact player or two.

Keep hope alive...

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | March 2, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

@alec, maybe the League is tired of DCU losing so much of their dough and they've finally gotten the drift...

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

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