Washington, D.C. – D.C. United returns to RFK Stadium on Wednesday night for the first time since late April to start a three-game home swing against the Colorado Rapids.
United lost two of three on its recent three-game road trip, but those are the only two losses in the last 10 games for coach Ben Olsen's side.
D.C. (5-4-3) has put together a strong home start, posting three wins and two draws through six matches. Considering United won just four times at home last season and three times at home in 2010, it's good news for Olsen.
Olsen received more good news this week, as midfielder Perry Kitchen escaped a major knee injury. Kitchen left Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo with what appeared to be a serious injury.
However, an MRI on Tuesday revealed no damage and even Kitchen admitted he was "shocked" at the results. The 20-year-old Kitchen, a defensive midfielder, was in training Tuesday, and could play against Colorado.
"(The fall) looked bad, and it felt bad, and when the doc told me, I was like, 'Are you kidding me? You read the right MRI?' Still a little bit of pain, but nothing serious," Kitchen said.
United will be without center back Emiliano Dudar due to a hamstring strain, and Marcelo Saragosa and rookie Nick DeLeon are doubtful.
Colorado (5-5-0) has also had injury problems early this season, and lost Omar Cummings to a sprained ankle early in its 2-0 win over FC Dallas in its recent match.
Coach Oscar Pareja did welcome Conor Casey back in an extended role, as he was on the field for 45 minutes. Casey entered as a late substitute against Chivas USA in late April for his first appearance this season.
"Conor brings something distinct to the team and is the most natural center striker we have," Pareja said. "He's smart and creates danger, so he brings interesting things to the team."
Colorado could be forced to use Kamani Hill at striker, and he admitted this week "I don't mind." Midfielder Edu, a veteran of Champions League play, will be available after he received his P-1 visa and ITC, and provides another good option for Pareja.
The Rapids complete a three-game road trip against United, but snapped a four- game road losing skid against Dallas and will try to return home with a third road win through seven away games.