Greetings from Home Depot Center. D.C. United doesn’t play Chivas USA here until Saturday, so I decided to take in MLS’s best club against the reigning champions. The score was close, the difference between the sides wasn’t. It’s tough being Bruce Arena: His first change was inserting Robbie Keane.
The Galaxy (15-3-10) became the first team to clinch a playoff berth, defeating the Rapids, 1-0. The Galaxy pinged the ball around and forced Colorado (10-8-11) to chase the match much of the evening.
Landon Donovan capped a classy build-up in the 36th minute to draw even with Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls for the scoring lead at 12 goals.
Los Angeles, which has lost once in the past four months, increased its lead over Seattle in the Supporters’ Shield race to seven points. The Sounders will attempt to keep pace at home Saturday vs. Real Salt Lake.
Given the option, after a postponement and a bye week created a 20-day scheduling hole, United would’ve jumped at the opportunity to play on this night. Instead, DCU will wait another 24 hours to resume its playoff push.
United’s Andy Najar is wanted by Honduras for under-23 duty at the Central American Olympic qualifying stage. However, the matches against Costa Rica and Nicaragua late this month don’t fall on FIFA fixture dates, so it’s highly unlikely United would allow him to miss the Sept. 25 match against Real Salt Lake. Honduras is seeking a spot in the eight-team CONCACAF final round in March.
While United is on the West Coast — Saturday against Chivas and next weekend at Seattle — RFK Stadium will relapse into an American football venue this weekend by hosting a college game between Howard and Morehouse. Stadium officials will have 10 days to return the field to soccer standards — and try to hide the yard markings.
For results from the Maryland Terrapins and Virginia Cavaliers matches.....
On the men’s college scene, second-ranked Maryland opened its ACC calendar by smashing No. 8 Boston College, 4-0, in front of 4,244 at Ludwig in College Park -- the Terrapins’ fifth straight victory to start the season. Sophomore forward Patrick Mullins, a prime candidate to join Maryland’s parade of early entries into the pro ranks, increased his scoring haul to five. (My feature about Maryland’s highly ranked men’s and women’s programs appeared online and in the print edition Friday.)
Virginia won at Duke for the first time in 10 years, a 1-0 result on the strength of Brian “Cobi” Span’s goal. Span, a 6-foot-3 sophomore forward, trained with Orebro in Sweden and Hoffenheim in Germany over the summer. Like Mullins, he is on course to make the pro leap this winter or next.