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Things are getting worse for D.C. United

New York Red Bulls v DC United

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: Forward Chris Pontius #13 of D.C. United celebrates his third goal against the New York Red Bulls in the second half at RFK Stadium on April 22, 2012 in Washington, DC. D.C. United won, 4-1. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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A training ground injury has left D.C. United without midfielder Chris Pontius for Saturday’s trip into Ohio to face Columbus.

That’s hardly what a club needs that is winless in its last five matches, sitting uncomfortably at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

The cynic will point out that Pontius is struggling in 2013, yet to make anything close to the impact we all thought he would. Indeed, this seemed like the year that Pontius could turn his ongoing MLS success into a national team call-up, probably with the “B” group in this summer’s Gold Cup.

And the cynic would be correct. On the other hand, a midfield that is already missing John Thorrington and Nick DeLeon is already short on options. Pontius presents a threat at least, and whoever Ben Olsen pulls off the bench for replacement duty will not cause Columbus to worry as much.

Further, whatever Olsen was planning to shake the funk off this wayward season – perhaps moving Pontius back up to striker, for instance – will now need a re-do.