- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 23, 2009

D.C. United coach Tom Soehn missed the club’s match against the Los Angeles Galaxy at RFK Stadium on Saturday night because of flulike symptoms. He was tested for the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

“He’s struggling a bit, and obviously he wants to be here,” said United assistant Chad Ashton, who directed the team Saturday. “They are running tests on him, but we haven’t quite got the results. It was in the team’s best interest for him not to be here. If you know Tommy, he’s got to pretty much be on his death bed to not be here. I told him not to come, but it’s killing him not to be here. But we are in constant contact with him.”

Soehn came to training Friday and had flulike symptoms, so he went home without overseeing the practice session. He saw medical personnel and took a blood test to determine what strain of flu he had. Those results will not be known until Monday.

Last week Soehn traveled with the club to Toronto for a weekend game, then flew to Honduras for a match Tuesday night.

“We are taking the situation very seriously,” United spokesman Doug Hicks said. “We are taking every precaution to make sure Tommy is cared for and that we monitor the situation of others who had direct contact with him.”

All the technical staff that works close to Soehn has been put on antiviral Tamiflu medication as a precaution.

“We all know what’s at stake in this game,” Ashton said. “I wish Tommy was here with us, but we are prepared.”

Galaxy star Landon Donovan contracted swine flu two weeks ago while training in Miami with the U.S. national team. Donovan missed just half a game and scored Wednesday night in the Galaxy’s 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire.

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