D.C. United could be without MLS goal king Luciano Emilio and all-time leading scorer Jaime Moreno for Thursday night's first-round playoff clash against Chicago at Toyota Park. Both players suffered ankle injuries during last weekend's 3-2 loss to Columbus. Emilio sprained his ankle and came off shortly after halftime, while Moreno aggravated a previous injury and had to be replaced early in the first half.
United coach Tom Soehn admitted the pair was questionable for game one of the Eastern Conference semifinal, but sounded more optimistic about Moreno's prospects. "The way [Moreno] has responded, he says he is going to be fine," Soehn said. "With Luciano, it's a new one. He hasn't been hurt much, so there is still a learning curve to see how well and how fast he heals. We will probably evaluate him right up to game time." Emilio on Tuesday told reporters he could walk but not run.
The loss of Emilio and Moreno would be a definite boost for the Chicago Fire, particularly because United doesn't have a very deep frontline. The Washington Post's Steven Goff says the top candidate to replace either one is rookie Guy-Roland Kpene, who has yet to score this season. D.C. will also be without midfielder Josh Gros, who's set to miss the postseason through a head injury.