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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Emiliano Dudar
"You feel good one day and think, 'Oh, I'll be back on the field in a week or so,'" Woolard said. "And then the next day, you have a headache again. So it's frustrating because you never know the time frame."
One by one, the players dropped to the turf, physically and emotionally spent. For D.C. United this season, there will be no getting up.
If the intensity of D.C. United's push for the playoffs wasn't evident before their 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, it sure is now.
For a moment Sunday, all was right in D.C. United's world. Then, as coach Ben Olsen put it, the "Geiger show" took over — as in referee Mark Geiger.
It'd been just over three months since Emiliano Dudar started a regular season game for D.C. United. On Saturday night, in front of 14,640 fans at RFK Stadium, the center back made his return to the lineup and played all 90 minutes of United's 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew.
For the past 3½ months, Nick DeLeon has found himself running right up against the rookie wall. Those darting runs from the flank that came with such frequency earlier have been few and far between. Concurrently, his spot in the starting lineup became an uncertain proposition.
For all the uncertainty the D.C. United back line has gone through in recent weeks, with a plethora of moving parts dictated by injury, fatigue and form, there has been a constant for the team to rely on: Brandon McDonald.
When D.C. United kicked off at the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, the visitors were riding high, owners of a seven-game unbeaten stretch and the team's first winning streak in nearly three years.
Emiliano Dudar has enjoyed a long, fruitful career. But the D.C. United defender still thinks he has plenty to prove.
D.C. United last season learned all too well the chances a team takes when fielding a thin roster.
"I felt good, although always after a couple weeks off of the team, it's always difficult," said Dudar. "As the match progressed, I felt better and better and I feel as I get more matches and minutes, I'm going to feel better."
"It's hard because while I was out of the team, the guys who were in the team were doing very well," said Dudar via a translator. "I feel good [after playing], I feel happy to be again with the first 11."