Steve Goff, the Soccer Insider, is reporting that Steve Cronin has broken his wrist and is out for an undetermined amount of time. Bill Hamid is also out due to a shoulder injury that he suffered last year, although he hopefully should be back by the Carolina Challenge Cup in March. With both these keepers out, D.C. United is down to Chase Harrison and unsigned 3rd round draft pick Joe Willis.
I don’t think that this is as big of a loss as people seem to think. Yes, it would be nice to have some veteran presence around Bill Hamid, especially if his recovery from his shoulder surgery gets thrown off track. But while Cronin did well against the Canadian U-20 team, his performance during the intersquad match left something to be desired. I think we all know that he’s not the longterm solution at keeper, but I don’t know if he’s even the short-term solution either. Obviously, if neither Hamid nor Cronin are ready to start the season, United will be in trouble; however, Hamid is still on track and, depending on the severity of the injury, Cronin can hopefully be back before the season starts.
With both Cronin and Hamid out right now, the battle for the third keeper spot will be easier for us to handicap. Both Joe Willis and Chase Harrison played a full 60 minutes in goal in the scrimmage against FIU (for more on that match, see my previous post). Willis started for FIU and Harrison started for DCU; at halftime, they switched goals. Both of them gave up two goals, with Willis giving up two in the span of three minutes and Harrison giving up one immediately after the second half kickoff. I think that Joe Willis is going to win this battle, because they wouldn’t have drafted him if they were happy with Chase Harrison as the third keeper. However, I hope that we never need to see either of them outside of the reserve league.