If there’s one thing that the players have over the rest of in attendance for D.C. United’s exhibition against Everton this evening, it’s that they’re supposed to perspire at work. That’s the closest I’m going to get to an actual complaint, I promise.
In any case, there’s no Tim Howard – well, he is here, but only signing autographs, not playing – but there are plenty of United players to see tonight. Starters: Hamid, Korb, Jakovic, McDonald, Burch, Najar, Morsink, King, da Luz; Wolff, Ngwenya. Substitutes: De Rosario, Pontius, Simms, White, Kitchen, Shanosky, Woolard, Cronin, Willis.
Absentees: Charlie Davies (knee inflammation) and Seth C’deBaca. As reported here over the last week, the graduated Georgetown midfielder parlayed his under-23 roster spot into a trial with the United first team. It was expected to conclude with an appearance on the United bench for tonight’s match, which United head coach Ben Olsen mentioned on Friday.
Instead, according to D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper, only rostered MLS players are allowed to play in gated matches, including friendlies. On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Union used academy players in its exhibition against Everton – academy member Christian Hernandez scored the Union’s game-winner in the 1-0 victory. A memo was handed down in the days since, and so C’deBaca will miss out.
While C’deBaca misses out tonight, midfielder Andy Najar will miss out on the Honduras under-23 training camp that is taking place in San Pedro Sula early next week. D.C. United has rejected the Honduran federation’s request for Najar. It would’ve been the 18-year-old’s first official participation with the national team.
United’s rejection is understandable. Najar has played back-to-back 90 minute games in the last week and is expected to go 45 or more tonight. A short trip to Honduras for three days and meeting D.C. United in San Jose at the end of the week wasn’t optimum. However, Najar is increasingly anxious about getting an opportunity, and given he is expected to be an important part of the Honduran Olympic team, his disappointment is also understandable.
Najar’s next best chance to join up with Honduras is a full national team opportunity for its friendly against Venezuela on Aug. 10. If Honduras is serious about bringing him on board, he should be called in for that match.