D.C. United defender Brad Smith will be out for up to nine months after tearing his ACL in the match against the Philadelphia Union on July 8.
The team confirmed Smith will undergo reconstruction surgery on his left knee in the coming days.
The defender came off the bench and onto the pitch as a first-half substitute in the game vs. the Union, replacing midfielder Sami Guediri. But he only managed about 20 minutes of playing time before going down with the apparent knee injury.
He appeared visibly upset as he attempted to exit the pitch himself, but ultimately needed a stretcher.
“It doesn’t look good at this point, But I don’t have any final idea,” said D.C. United interim head coach Chris Ashton said after the match.
Smith initially joined D.C. United ahead of the 2022 Major League Soccer campaign in a trade that saw the Black-and-Red send $750,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money to the Seattle Sounders. Per the deal, Seattle also retains a 10% sell-on fee if Smith is transferred to any club outside of Major League Soccer.
The defender’s injury is yet another blow for D.C. United after suffering their most embarrassing defeat of the season. The Union triumphed 7-0 over the Washington D.C. side, forcing Ashton to apologize to fans for the display.
The team currently sits bottom of the Eastern Conference table, tied for last with the Chicago Fire at 17 points. But D.C. United must recover quickly, as they host the Columbus Crew at Audi on Wednesday.