Financial woes leave Portsmouth fairly weak

How quickly the championship memories fade.

Two years after the modest club from the South coast of England captured a memorable win in the 2008 FA Cup final, Portsmouth FC now has a vastly different reputation.

"I know that they don't have a lot of money," D.C. United defender Carey Talley said when asked about facing the financially strapped side.


Up nextPortsmouth FC at D.C. UnitedWhere » RFK StadiumWhen » Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Pompey, as Portsmouth is known, became the first English Premier League to enter administration in March. As a result, it was docked nine points in the EPL standings, which all but assured its relegation to the Championship -- think of the Orioles being moved down to Triple-A.

The club sold many of its best players during the offseason, and it embarked on a North American tour with a roster of just 19 players. After stops in Southern California and Edmonton, Alberta, the club said on its Web site earlier this week that only 12 players remain healthy.

"With the transfer window, with the World Cup happening and obviously with their problems financially in the Premier League last year, who knows what's going to happen," Talley said.

Boskovic, Hernandez get fit

Branko Boskovic is taking as much time as he can to get fit for a full 90 minutes in a D.C. United uniform, but his adjustment to the style of play in the United States has been quick.

"It's same in Austria," Boskovic said after playing 65 minutes and scoring his first D.C. goal against Harrisburg on Wednesday. "They go also like here. They are physically good, and they run and they kick too much. It's same."

Argentinian forward Pablo Hernandez also has been effective fighting off constant nipping at his heels by defenders while providing a spark of creativity to the flagging D.C. offense.

"I think for a lot of foreigners, there's an adjustment period to the physicality of the league," Talley said. "I think that they came in, and they've done a pretty good job of trying to match the intensity of the players and how hard this league can be in terms of running and tackling and things like that."