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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Esky Returns to DC

DC United has reacquired Alecko Eskandarian from Real Salt Lake according to Bobby Boswell's personal website.

1 comment:

football detective said...

An e-mail to friends in 2006:

When I was in DC last fall, I recognized Alecko in the stands at an AU soccer game. I told him that I was a big fan visiting from SF and was at MLS Cup '04.

I saw his goal live on TV this past
weekend and wanted to share this "brush with greatness".

After 10 months of headaches, 'Esky' returns with a
flourish for United

By JOSEPH WHITE, AP Sports Writer
April 3, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The headaches never seemed to stop
for D.C. United's Alecko Eskandarian.

Loud noise and bright lights would set them off.
Playing soccer -- especially heading the ball -- was
out of the question.

Some 10 months after a collision with a goalkeeper
nearly wrecked his career, Eskandarian wore padded
black headgear and returned with a flourish, scoring a
goal within minutes of taking the field in United's
regular-season opener.

"Ten months of frustration," Eskandarian said, "was
put behind that shot."

Eskandarian entered early in the second half of
Sunday's game against the New York Red Bulls and
energized a team that was trailing 2-0. His 6-yard
left-footed volley helped United rally to salvage a
2-2 tie, and Eskandarian celebrated his goal as if he
had won another league title.

"Esky, he did a good job of putting them on their
heels, and moving the ball quick and going after them,
and being a handful," midfielder Ben Olsen said. "It
was so nice, to come from a guy who's been out for a
long time and not sure if you're going to play again.
He's dealt with a lot. To see him smile again after
seeing him score a goal is a special moment."

Eskandarian, the No. 1 overall draft pick from
Virginia in 2003 and the MVP of the 2004 MLS Cup, was
injured when his head was hit by Matt Reis' knee in a
game against New England on June 18. Eskandarian left
with a concussion, but he thought he would be
sidelined only a few weeks.

Instead, the headaches kept coming. He couldn't do
anything physical. Doctors did multiple tests and
always prescribed more or less the same thing:
inactivity. Not easy for a 23-year-old rising soccer
star, but he had no choice. Returning too early from a
concussion can lead to long-term damage. He took
classes at American University to pass the time.

"Honestly, just waking up every morning with headaches
is tough, to know that I can't play tonight or I can't
run tonight," Eskandarian said. "Once the headaches
started going away a little bit, I knew I had a
chance."

By the start of preseason practice in February,
Eskandarian was ready to return. But he had one more
setback -- hernia surgery in early March. He recovered
ahead of schedule, a nice change of pace after the
long road back from the concussion.

Eskandarian said he wasn't tentative when the play
became physical in Sunday's game. The extra protection
he wore was barely noticeable.

"The headgear thing's great. It's like a headband, so
it's not heavy or anything like that at all,"
Eskandarian said. "I was able to do everything fine."

Including score a goal.

"It was a storybook way to come back," he said. "It
was a long time coming."