Wednesday kickaround

October 10, 2012

Tim Howard and U.S. squad face Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala in final two semifinal-round qualifiers. (Getty Images)

*TV reminders for U.S. national team’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers:

Friday’s match at Antigua & Barbuda is on beIN Sport’s English channel only, beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The new outlet’s Spanish channel will carry Argentina vs. Uruguay.

Next Tuesday’s home game against Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan., will appear on ESPN2 and Telefutura, also at 7 ET.

*A four-goal game in MLS? Yes! In a reserve match. Philadelphia rookie Chandler Hoffman accomplished the rare feat Tuesday against D.C. United during the Union’s 6-0 rout in Chester, Pa. United started five academy players. Defender Robbie Russell, needing minutes after recovering from a foot injury, didn’t travel because his wife, Tiana, is expecting their first child any day now. DCU and Philly will meet again in reserve play at noon Friday at the RFK Stadium training grounds. Admission is free.

*Although United has yet to clinch an MLS playoff berth, the club is quietly enjoying one of the finest regular seasons in recent history — albeit with an asterisk because the league is playing a 34-game schedule instead of 30 or 32. The 16 victories are more than the previous two years combined (15) and the most since 2007, the last time United advanced to the playoffs. DCU hasn’t won more than 16 since 1999, when it went 23-9. (Ties were decided by shootouts back then).

*Is Orlando moving into prime position for MLS expansion? The Scoring Third provides details and insight. The league hasn’t had a Southeast presence since Tampa Bay and Miami folded after the 2001 season.

*Maryland, the No. 1 men’s team in the country in both major rankings, overcame an early deficit to defeat Rutgers, 2-1, at Ludwig Field. The Terrapins (10-0-1) will visit Duke on Friday night. According to Duke research, the Blue Devils have faced a top-ranked Maryland team four times since 1996 and beaten the Terps in three of them.

Virginia, in danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than three decades, upset previously unbeaten High Point, 2-1.

Reminder: Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County will host the ACC tournament semifinals and final Nov. 9-11.

Georgetown (11-2-1) recovered from consecutive Big East losses to defeat one-win Lehigh, 2-0, in the Hoyas’ non-conference finale. They will host undefeated Marquette on Saturday.

*United’s Chris Pontius will appear tonight at the Bethesda high school showdown between visiting Walter Johnson and Walt Whitman (fastballs vs. free verse!) on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. WJ, where Arsenal prospect Gedion Zelalem played last year, is 9-0 overall and 2-0 in league play. Whitman is 7-2, 2-1.

 

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff · October 9, 2012