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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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One Response to Esky Returns to DC

  1. football detective says:

    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.”

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