- The Washington Times - Monday, March 15, 2004

Doug Warren, D.C. United’s backup goalkeeper last year, is expected to start in the April3 season opener against the defending Major League Soccer champion San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium.

Nick Rimando, United’s All-Star goalkeeper, is recovering from reconstructive knee surgery following an ACL tear at the end of last season.

Warren, 22, appeared in just five matches last season and allowed six goals during United’s playoff push after Rimando injured his knee Sept.25 at the MetroStars. Warren, a member of the U.S. under-23 national team, said he should be United’s starter now that former United coach Ray Hudson is gone.

“It’ll be a lot more competitive this year than last year, just straight off the get-go, because coaches don’t have necessarily their favorites,” Warren said.

Rimando, a favorite of Hudson’s from their days with the now defunct Miami Fusion, probably will have to fight to regain his starting job because Warren has done all the work in the preseason.

“We’ve got the first game. I want to be ready for that, but if I’m not, I’m not going to put myself in that situation. I’m not going to put the team in that situation,” Rimando said.

Warren said there is no ill-will between the goalies.

“I don’t know the status of Nick’s knee,” Warren said. “To be honest, I’m not thinking about Nick’s knee. I’m getting myself ready for this season, I’m getting myself ready to be a starter.”

Notes — United’s 14-year-old prodigy, Freddy Adu, will finish his studies this week in Bradenton, Fla., and join United on a full-time basis Friday in Charleston, S.C. … Comcast SportsNet will air 15 D.C. United games on a regional basis this season. The coverage supplements an MLS-high nine games on national TV for United. Dave Johnson and former United coach Thomas Rongen will again lead CSN’s broadcast team.

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