When it rains, it pours. D.C. United's 2014 has been a season mostly free of injury, but the past couple of weeks have been vicious on that front. While most of today's DCU talk is focused on the latest bit of Eddie Johnson hoopla, United's injury list just expanded again today:
D.C. United's Chris Korb out for a month with hamstring injury, assistant coach Chad Ashton says #dcu— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) August 12, 2014
United fans won't have to think too hard to remember Korb's last absence, a 1-0 loss against the Houston Dynamo just nine days ago. In that match, Korb was rested due to some hamstring tightness, but apparently that rest was not enough.
Taylor Kemp filled in for Korb for the trip to Texas, but things didn't go well for the University of Maryland product. Kemp struggled in the early going as the Dynamo went out of their way to attack his flank. Kemp did improve as the game wore on, but his botched attempt at a back-pass in stoppage time eventually snowballed into the game's only goal.
Left back has been a troublesome position for United this season. Spanish signing Christian needed a few weeks in the spring to mesh with his teammates and learn how MLS was on the field. By mid-May, however, Christian began putting in solid 90 minute performances, and United's back four looked set for the season. However, off the field Christian was having a hard time adjusting, and was released so he could return to Spain in the first week of July.
Korb, meanwhile, has rebounded from a poor 2013 to return to the form we saw out of him in 2012. Despite being right-footed and having issues with his crossing, Korb's defending has been strong and his energy levels usually help him outwork opposing wide players.
United's injury list has grown to the point that Ben Olsen may not be able to fill out a full eighteen-man squad on Sunday against the Colorado Rapids. Korb joins Andrew Dykstra, Jeff Parke, Nana Attakora, Kyle Porter, Chris Pontius, Conor Doyle, and Michael Seaton on the "OUT" list for this weekend, while Alex Caskey may still be some way short of 100% due to a knee issue.
With Eddie Johnson looking likely to receive a suspension for kicking the ball into a fallen Carlos Salcedo this past weekend, United has only 17 players who are both fit enough to play and who aren't on loan. It would not be a major surprise to see Olsen temporarily recall Jalen Robinson from his loan with USL-PRO side Arizona United SC. Robinson is a right back, but United's most recent Homegrown signing is probably the closest thing the Black-and-Red have to an option to fill in for Kemp should he be injured or suspended any time soon.