D.C. United are naturally keeping tabs on the Olympic exploits of midfielder Andy Najar, who has started Honduras’ first two games, including a 1-0 upset that eliminated Spain on Sunday.
Najar picked up a secondary assist on the goal in that contest, which was an all-MLS sequence that ended with Sporting Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza finding the head of New England’s Jerry Bengtson.
“We watched the highlights,” United right back Chris Korb said. “It’s great he’s doing well and all the other guys from MLS as well.”
Honduras faces Japan on Wednesday at noon at City of Coventry Stadium. With a victory, Los Catrachos will win Group D. A tie (and even possibly a loss) will secure Honduras passage to Saturday’s quarterfinals as the group runner-up.
Coach Ben Olsen raised some eyebrows Saturday against Paris Saint-Germain when he started Long Tan, acquired from Vancouver a month ago for a supplemental draft pick, at striker over Maicon Santos (seven goals) and Hamdi Salihi (five goals).
While it’s still early in the week, Olsen had Tan training with the starters Tuesday in a drill while Santos and Salihi were on the second unit. So it looks like Tan is a legitimate option to start alongside Dwayne De Rosario on Saturday against Columbus — not just a young player Olsen wanted to get some minutes in a friendly this past weekend.
Center back Emiliano Dudar also trained with the starters Tuesday, so he just might make his first league start since May when Columbus comes to town.
CSN ADDS FIVE UNITED MATCHES
United’s new ownership group is already paying dividends for the club, which Tuesday announced another five games will be televised by Comcast SportNet.
Matches at Sporting Kansas City (Aug. 11), at Real Salt Lake (Sept. 1), at Portland (Sept. 29) and at Toronto FC (Oct. 6) will air live on CSN, while the regular-season finale against Columbus at RFK Stadium will be on CSN+.
European clubs have made a habit of visiting the Baltimore-Washington region in recent years. If you missed it in Monday’s paper, here’s my story on the tour stops this past weekend by Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur and United’s opponent, PSG.