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ON SOCCER: Soehn a man of his word
July was a wicked month for D.C. United. Apart from success in the U.S. Open Cup, an injury-blighted United suffered a string of four defeats at RFK Stadium, including three losses in the SuperLiga.
“We had an 18-man roster that was down to nine senior guys,” United coach Tom Soehn said. “As far as the SuperLiga, it was disappointing, had we dropped four league games during that time, it would have been even more disappointing.”
Soehn promised to bring in reinforcements at the All-Star break. He made good on his vow. United added veteran Honduran star Ivan Guerrero on Thursday in a trade for a partial allocation with the San Jose Earthquakes.
“He’s a two-sided player who offers us a left foot on the flank that we don’t really have,” Soehn said. “You could see our guys respect him a lot, and he fit in really well.”
Guerrero, 30, who played three years with the Chicago Fire before San Jose claimed him in the 2007 expansion draft, likely will make his team debut Saturday night against the visiting Kansas City Wizards.
“I’m not known as a goal scorer,” Guerrero said through an interpreter. “But I’m an all-round solid player and I try and give my best all the time when I’m out on the field.”
Guerrero can play both in the midfield and as a defender.
“Ever since I was with Chicago people talked about D.C. United,” Guerrero said. “I always thought one day I could play for them so I’m very happy.”
Guerrero briefly played in the English Premier League (2000-2001) with Coventry City.
“He’s a very versatile player who will add that sense of excitement, especially when he goes forward,” defender Bryan Namoff said.
There will be no letup for United this month. The team faces six league games and a U.S. Open Cup semifinal game. With 14 games left, United (22 points) shares fourth place in the Eastern Conference with Kansas City, Toronto and New York.
“What a game it would be if we could finish with a shutout [United’s first] and set us off on a good foot for the later half of the season,” Namoff said.
United is 11 points adrift of the conference-leading New England Revolution.
“As we get our injured players back - [Marcelo] Gallardo, [Gonzalo] Peralta, Santino [Quaranta] - and with the addition of Ivan [Guerrero], we will get right back up there,” United general manager Dave Kasper said.
United will play Kansas City without key defender Gonzalo Martinez, who earned a suspension because he received a red card in the 2-0 loss to Houston on Wednesday. The Wizards defeated visiting United 2-0 in the season opener.
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