D.C. United were dealt a blow just 12 minutes into the first leg of their Eastern Conference final against the Houston Dynamo when Chris Pontius had to be subbed off after aggravating a groin injury. Pontius had been dealing with a bit of a groin injury, but he told Ben Olsen he was good to know. Clearly, he was wrong and now D.C. is down a substitution along with their best player.
Making matters worse for D.C. is how shorthanded they were to begin the match. Dwayne De Rosario has been out for weeks through injury and while he's nearing a return, he is not back yet. They are also without Andy Najar and Bill Hamid, both of whom pick up red cards in the conference semifinals and are suspended.
Without Pontius, D.C. will really struggle to find much in the attack. He has almost been a one-man attack in De Rosario's absence and a mighty effective one at that. At this point, with Pontius out, D.C. might be best off trying to earn a draw away in this first leg and then go for the win at home when Pontius or De Rosario might be available.