- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 9, 2005

D.C. United forward Freddy Adu is expected to be out two to four weeks with a second-degree MCL sprain in his right knee.

Adu suffered the injury early in United’s 3-2 win at Chicago on Saturday when he twisted his knee after colliding with the Fire’s Samuel Caballero and was replaced in the 35th minute. But the MRI showed no damage to the meniscus.

“We’re encouraged by the news today that Freddy’s injury is indeed minor,” United technical director Dave Kasper said in a statement.

The 16-year-old, who has two goals and five assists in 16 games this season, says he doesn’t feel much pain.

“I’m doing everything they told me to do,” Adu said. “I’m doing lunges and such things as squatting all the way down without any pain.”

Adu will miss United’s game against the MetroStars tonight at RFK Stadium that kicks off a stretch of eight games in 22 days for the defending champion. Five of those games are key league matches, one is a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal game against Dallas and two are exhibitions in which reserves will be used.

“I kind of like the idea of having a lot of games because it keeps us flowing once you get in the rhythm,” assistant coach Tommy Soehn said.

United is having a stunning summer, losing just two league games in its last 11 outings. Still, coach Peter Nowak is concerned about his team giving up two late goals after having a three-goal lead against Chicago.

“Even when we are winning 3-0, we have to make sure we keep the lead and nothing will happen like that in the future,” Nowak said. “We mustn’t put ourselves in a difficult spot. This is not good to have a 3-0 lead and get shaky at the end.”

The players are ready for the avalanche of games.

“With this kind of schedule, you have to stay fit and do things off the field to stay healthy,” midfielder Ben Olsen said. “Saying that, there will be times when we have to change the way we play. We may have to sit back and counterattack and play a far less demanding style than we are used to. We are a deep team and always pride ourselves on using a lot of guys throughout the season, and I think this little stretch will be no different.”

United (9-6-5, 32 points) sits third in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference with 12 games left. The MetroStars (7-6-8, 29 points) are fifth, three points behind the Kansas City Wizards in the conference and desperate to get back into the playoff picture.

“They are a desperate team and need some points,” Olsen said. “When desperate teams play hard, you have to match that, or it will be a long night for us. We have a little rivalry going with them, so it will be a bit chippy but should be entertaining.”

Notes — Yesterday’s traffic snarl on Kenilworth Avenue caused a number of players to turn up late for practice. Players were due at RFK Stadium at 9:45a.m. but Baltimore-based Santino Quaranta missed practice, reaching RFK at noon. … Central defender Bobby Boswell, who missed the Fire game because of suspension, is back.

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