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D.C. United suffers multiple hits to depth in defensive midfield

Chris Durkin and Russell Canouse are injured, and Júnior Moreno will be on a red card suspension against the Galaxy.

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Two injuries and a red card suspension to three of D.C. United’s top defensive midfielders could cause trouble as the team gets ready to host LA Galaxy Sunday, August 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET at Audi Field. 

United felt the repercussions of a one-two punch in its 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union. First, Chris Durkin came off the field due to an ankle injury in the 16th minute, and then Júnior Moreno received a red card just before halftime. After the loss, United coach Ben Olsen was skeptical about the severity of Durkin’s injury.

“Something was not right with his ankle; a twist, pop, something,” Olsen said. “I would expect him to be out. That is also a little bit of a concern because of Russell [Canouse] being out.”

United’s sudden depth drought at the defensive midfield position began in the second half of the scoreless draw with Chicago Fire. Starting defensive midfielder Canouse collided with C.J. Sapong, and while he initially stayed in the game, the 24-year-old left in the 64th minute. He was later taken to Rush University Medical Center and treated for a collapsed lung. Canouse will miss the next three-to-six weeks recovering. 

Meanwhile, Durkin’s injury appeared to happen in the 12th minute against the Union. The homegrown player stumbled and grabbed his ankle. He initially stayed in the game, but fell to the ground in the 16th minute and called for the substitution. Moreno’s red card will keep him out for an additional game.

“Now we have to look within or maybe externally and look at the market right now to fix that hole,” Olsen said. 

Without Canouse, Durkin and Moreno, United many need to break the glass case and make an emergency signing in the midfield. Former United States men’s national team midfielder José Torres is an option. The 31-year-old midfielder has trained with United over the past few weeks.

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