Greetings from RFK Stadium for the friendly between Dutch Eredivisie champion Ajax and D.C. United. A small gathering is expected for this exhibition, the first of many involving major European clubs visiting the States this summer.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET.
Streaming video: Eredivisie Web site. (membership required)
Ajax’s previous visit to Washington: May 12, 1990, for a 1-1 draw with the U.S. national team, which was preparing for the World Cup in Italy. John Harkes equalized in the 84th minute in front of 18,245 observers. Ajax’s scorer? Ronald de Boer, twin brother of current Ajax coach Frank de Boer. Dutch legend Dennis Bergkamp started for Ajax.
Tonight’s match seemed to be the perfect occasion for United to unveil its new third kit, but because Ajax will be in its traditional red and white, D.C. will wear black. Expect the third kit in the friendly against Everton (blue) in July and probably three MLS matches. UPDATE: United will wear the third kit June 3 at Los Angeles, July 2 vs. Philadelphia, July 23 vs. Everton and Aug. 21 at Kansas City.
Among the spectators tonight will be 2002 U.S. World Cup midfielder John O’Brien, who rose through the Ajax youth system and made 98 league appearances. Injuries took a toll on his career, and after playing once for Chivas USA in 2006, he called it quits. Since then, O’Brien has worked on several projects, traveled the world and enrolled in college. He is on pace to earn a degree in psychology from Antioch University (Los Angeles) this year and plans to pursue a Master’s.
AJAX LINEUP: Vermeer; Anita, Ooijer, Oleguer, Blind; De Zeeuw, Lodeiro, Enoh; Sulejmani, Cvitanich, Özbiliz.
DCU LINEUP: Hamid; Barklage, White, Jakovic, Woolard; Najar, Kitchen, McCarty, Pontius; Ngwenya, Quaranta. Subs: Cronin, Willis, Brasesco, King, Korb, Shanosky, Fred, Brettschneider, Simms.
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