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Which members of D.C. United might miss some time next season during the Hexagonal? How much should we fear a repeat of this year’s injury to an important player while playing for his national team?
If you've been following the USMNT as closely as you have, then you surely already know that the Americans clinched a spot in the next round of CONCACAF World Cup 2014 Qualifying last night with an important 3-1 win over Guatemala. But you might not know what is happening around the rest of CONCACAF. The USA is moving on to the Hexagonal round, along with five other teams: Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Panama.
Disappointingly, none of the minnows of CONCACAF advanced, meaning that Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. won't have an easy time moving on to the 2014 World Cup. The top three teams in the Hexagonal will advance, with the fourth team needing to defeat the Oceania tournament's winner to also advance.
There's a more important question here though that's just as relevant to readers of this blog. What does this mean for D.C. United?
If we're being selfish, then United received some good news last night in Canada's 8-1 loss to Honduras. With Canada missing the Hexagonal, we're guaranteed to have Dwayne De Rosario and Dejan Jakovic all to ourselves next year. We won't have to stress over the idea of a repeat of this season's devastating injury to DeRo while he was away on international duty.
Honduras advancing might possibly be a detriment to United too though. Even though Andy Najar didn't factor into the last round of World Cup Qualifying, he might be called up to play for Honduras in the Hexagonal. Najar was a key member of the U-23 team utilized by Honduras at the 2012 Olympics, and he might be in line for another look from his home country in the coming year. The Hexagonal will run from February to October 2013, so Najar might stand to miss portions of the 2013 MLS season.
It also seems likely that Chris Pontius will receive a call from Klinsmann to participate in the January camp for the U.S. We've all been waiting to see Pontius earn his way back into the mix with the National Team, and his 2012 statistics will surely earn him some consideration. If Pontius does well in camp, we might see him involved in the next round of World Cup Qualifying, although Pontius may still find himself behind Landon Donovan, Brek Shea, and now Eddie Johnson on the depth chart at left midfield.