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D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola expected to miss months with ACL injury

WASHINGTON — D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola will be out for multiple months due to an ACL injury sustained Saturday in the preseason game against Orlando City SC.

The 25-year-old underwent medical scans Sunday in Florida, where United is currently conducting preseason camp. United has not officially commented on Arriola’s prognosis and is awaiting information from further medical evaluations.

Arriola addressed the injury on social media and thanked fans for their well wishes.

“I suffered an ACL injury to my right knee that will take months to recover from,” Arriola wrote. “I know 100% that I will be back stronger than ever.”

Arriola is currently in Florida but will likely return to D.C. ahead of the team.

During the past two-and-a-half seasons, Arriola has been a reliable Swiss Army knife for United. Arriola is a natural winger, playing on both sides of the field as well as at right back and in the No. 10 role in the final stretch of last season. In 68 appearances, he has tallied 14 goals and 12 assists.

After spending January with the United States men’s national team, Arriola joined United for the second portion of preseason in Clearwater, Fla. For the national team, Arriola has been one of the consistent, experienced players in coach Gregg Berhalter’s system.

In D.C., Arriola was expected to play a crucial role in United’s starting lineup either centrally or on the wing while the team added in new pieces, includingEdison Flores and Julian Gressel. Prior to the injury, United only expected to miss Arriola in one game — the opener Feb. 29 against Colorado Rapids — due to a red card he received in the 2019 playoff loss to Toronto FC. Now, United will have to plan for a more long term absence. 

Arriola’s injury adds to a growing list of United players currently dealing with ailments, making it challenging for coach Ben Olsen to find a cohesive starting lineup. Midfielder Yamil Asad and Flores are currently dealing with groin injuries while Homegrown defender Donovan Pines is out a few weeks with an ankle injury.

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