*D.C. United has been up to the challenge for two trying months, but heading into MLS’s Eastern Conference finals, the club will confront a new set of trials.
*NBC Sports Network’s coverage begins at 4 p.m., with kickoff about 20 minutes later.
*Referee: Ricardo Salazar.
*Game-time weather outlook: 81 degrees, 60 percent humidity, 15-mph wind, 30 percent chance of rain.
*Official injury reports:
*United arrived Thursday from New York via charter — a rarity for the club — with a refueling stop in Chattanooga. So now Hamdi Salihi and Branko Boskovic can say they’ve been to Chattanooga.
*The Western Conference finals, featuring the reigning champion Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, will begin at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN). Seattle will be without Marc Burch for not only this match, but the rest of the season. Burch, a former United defender, was suspended for three matches by MLS for “unacceptable and offensive language” during Thursday’s game at Real Salt Lake.
If the Sounders fail to advance to MLS Cup, he would sit out next year’s opener. In May, Houston’s Colin Clark received the same ban for directing a slur at a ball boy.
*Looking well ahead, MLS Cup is set for Sat., Dec. 1 at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The possible matchups:
Los Angeles at D.C. United
Seattle at D.C. United
Houston at Los Angeles
Houston at Seattle
*Three Washington area teams will play for college conference men’s titles Sunday:
ACC: Maryland vs. North Carolina at Maryland SoccerPlex, noon (ESPNU)
Big East: Georgetown vs. Notre Dame at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., noon (CBS Sports Network, MASN)
Patriot League: American vs. Lafayette at AU’s Reeves Field, 1 p.m.
*The NCAA women’s tournament is underway, and both Maryland and Virginia have advanced to the round of 32 with home victories. The Terrapins scored twice in the final six minutes to defeat Stony Brook, 2-0. The Cavaliers ousted La Salle, 4-1, for their sixth consecutive triumph. On Sunday, Georgetown will visit Virginia Tech.
*The 48-team men’s tournament field will be announced Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET, with live streaming video on ncaa.com