According to Black & Red United, DC United forward Eddie Johnson will miss the first three weeks of the preseason as he deals with some medical issues. Johnson will be undergoing tests. Johnson is coming off his first season with the black and red and was a huge disappointment after two successful seasons as a member of the Seattle Sounders. I truly hope it is not a big issue that Johnson has to deal with.
This can be a potential huge blow for United as they will already be missing Fabián Espíndola for the first six matches of the 2015 regular season.
Originally, Espíndola was suspended for the first two games of the season automatically due to the red card he received for “violent conduct” at the end of the MLS Cup Eastern Conference Semifinal second leg on November 8 vs. the New York Red Bulls. According to an official release from the league, the Disciplinary Committee’s decision came “for contact with the Assistant Referee.”
Just last week, Espíndola was made the second Designated Player on the club’s roster, Johnson being the other. Espíndola, 29, is entering his second season with the club after a 2014 campaign in which he had career year. He led the team with 11 goal and nine assists as DC finished atop the Eastern Conference.
DC United GM Dave Kasper had this to say about Espíndola in a club statement:
"“Fabián is coming off his best year in MLS last season and he deserves to be a Designated Player. He is in the prime of his career, and we look forward to his future contributions to our club.”"
The club currently has players on the team that can slide up to the forward position in Chris Rolfe and Chris Pontius. As of right now it is not known if David Estrada will be back with the team even though he was extended a bona fide offer back in December. Acquired in August from the Sounders, Estrada appeared in nine games (three starts) and recorded two assists during the MLS season.
The trade that United made with Orlando City a week ago for Jairo Arrieta makes more sense now. United will need the additional fire power up front. With their leading scorer in Espíndola suspended and Johnson missing a minimum of three weeks, they will need someone who can score goals for the team.
It’s not even March yet and United are on their heels already. It could be a very, very long season for the Black and Red in the nation’s capital.