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D.C. United season review: Andrew Dykstra

We continue our season review with backup goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

During the preseason, most fans figured that goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra was set for another season down I-95 with the Richmond Kickers in USL-Pro, where D.C. United had sent him on loan the previous two seasons.  Last season, as the Kickers’ first-choice keeper, he made 14 appearances for the USL-Pro regular season champions, winning the USL-Pro Goalkeeper of the Year award in the process.  However, no one gave Dykstra that message, and with an outstanding preseason he won the #2 keeper job here, forcing fellow keeper Joe Willis to be the main man in Richmond this year.

When an injury in U.S. training camp sidelined Bill Hamid for a few weeks in April, Dykstra stepped up to the challenge, pitching shutouts at home against the New England Revolution and hated rival New York Red Bulls and allowing only one on the road against the Columbus Crew in a 1-1 tie.  He also had another start in league play just before the World Cup break at Montreal, allowing 2 stops but making 3 key saves to help the team secure a 4-2 victory and the #1 spot entering the World Cup hiatus.

Dykstra also had his moments that he would probably want to forget, including the 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Rochester Rhinos in the U.S. Open Cup on June 17th, crashing the defending U.S. Open Cup champions out of the competition in just their first match.  Ultimately, Andrew Dykstra’s season was cut short when he tore his Achilles tendon during a 3-0 friendly defeat against Fulham F.C. at Jacksonville’s Everbank Field on July 26th.

Entering his 4th season as a United player and turning 29 just before the start of preseason camp, Dykstra is a goalkeeper with several years of great MLS experience between the posts, particularly in a starting role.  Still, the number one question mark will be whether he can fully recover from his Achilles injury to keep his hold on the #2 keeper spot and be the man who appears in those early season CONCACAF Champions League and MLS league matches.

What say you all?