By THOMAS FLOYD
A rough start to the season for Chris Pontius and the D.C. United attack just went from bad to worse.
Pontius will miss United’s trip to face the Columbus Crew on Saturday after suffering a groin strain during training Thursday. While Pontius has only notched a single assist for United (1-5-1), the left winger has gone the full 90 minutes every match and remains a dynamic piece of a D.C. attack that has only scored four goals this season.
First-year players Kyle Porter and Marcos Sanchez figure to start on the flanks for United on Saturday. Rookie left back Taylor Kemp, who while playing midfield scored two goals in a preseason win over second-tier Tampa Bay, has been recalled from his loan with third-division Richmond.
Pontius is coming off a 12-goal campaign during which he earned Best XI and All-Star Game MVP honors. His season ended when he aggravated a groin injury in the first leg of the Eastern Conference final against Houston, forcing him to miss the rest of the playoffs and the U.S. national team’s January camp.
United also remain without first-choice midfielders Nick DeLeon (hamstring) and John Thorrington (knee), as well as versatile reserve Lewis Neal (groin).
How big a blow will Pontius’ loss be for United? Can Sanchez and Porter step up in his absence? Or will United’s attack continue to struggle?
Share your thoughts below.