*A busy slate of MLS mid-week matches begins tonight with two intriguing games:
Chicago Fire (27 points) at Houston Dynamo (23), 8:30 p.m. ET
(Fire has won 3 straight, Dynamo is 4-0-2 at home)
San Jose Earthquakes (36) at Portland Timbers (16), 10:30
(Quakes atop the West, Timbers just 14 goals in 15 matches)
Both games are available on Direct Kick and MLS Live.
Another five matches are set for the Fourth of July, highlighted by Seattle at Real Salt Lake.
Watch this cool video produced by the Timbers about the making and unveiling of the building-sized tifo for Seattle’s recent visit. The display was 260 feet wide and 65 feet high. By comparison, Fenway Park's Green Monster is 240 by 37:
*With Saturday’s victory over the Montreal Impact, D.C. United improved to 7-1-2 at home. In 2010 and ’11 combined, the club was 7-16-9 at RFK Stadium.
With no match this weekend, Ben Olsen has given the players most of the week off. United’s next game is July 15 at Houston.
*The power of Twitter: More than 16.5 million tweets were posted during the Spain-Italy match Sunday in the European Championship final. When Spain scored the fourth goal, a sports-record 15,358 tweets per second were recorded. The high for the Super Bowl this year was 12,233.
*Both second-division women’s teams in the Washington area continue to fare well this season.
D.C. United Women improved to 9-0-1 and clinched the W-League’s Atlantic Division title with a 4-1 victory over the Federicksburg Impact. They are on pace to host the Eastern Conference playoffs July 20-22 at Maryland SoccerPlex. DCU’s regular season home finale is this Saturday against the Dayton Dutch Lions, which is Olympic-bound defender Becky Sauerbrunn’s send-off match.
The Maryland Capitols (6-1-2) secured a WPSL playoff berth with a 6-3 victory over BuxMont Torch. They’ll host the Penn Legacy Inferno Sunday at Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover.
*Nataly Arias, a 26-year-old defender from O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., and the University of Maryland, was named to Colombia’s Olympic squad. The Colombians are grouped with the United States, North Korea and France. They’ll face the Americans on July 28 in Glasgow. (Arias’s background information appeared in an Insider item last year.)