To get you ready for D.C. United match tonight at Sporting Park…..
I profile the “Gladiator,” Brazilian striker Rafael, who, unlike most soccer-playing countrymen, comes from a village in a remote area of Minas Gerais state.
As you are well aware by now, this game — and several others this season — will not appear on standard TV in the Washington area. For home viewing, you will need to have a Direct Kick or MLS Live subscription.
Referee: Amando Villarreal.
Game-time weather forecast: 66 degrees, 0 percent chance of precipitation, 18-mph wind.
DCU injuries: Dwayne De Rosario (adductor), Nick DeLeon (hamstring), John Thorrington (knee) and Lewis Neal (groin) did not travel with the club. Neal update: Out for at least two months.
Of note: United has not scored in its previous two away matches. Sporting has not conceded a goal anywhere in 339 minutes.
Road trip eats: In Kansas City, eating BBQ is required by law. As a non-meat eater, I broke the law. Forgive me. Instead, in the shadows of the too-shiny, too-chainy Zona Rosa in north KC, I discovered Ixtapa, a wonderfully authentic Mexican joint tucked in an anonymous strip mall. Hole, meet wall. I will be back. Breakfast was served at Cracker Barrel, walking distance from the hotel. Yeah, it’s a chain, but hashbrown casserole, come on!
Lineups and subs to come about an hour before kickoff…..
DCU: Hamid; Korb, McDonald, Jakovic, Woolard; Sanchez, Kitchen, Augusto, Pontius; Pajoy, Rafael. Subs: Willis, Russell, White, Riley, Saragosa, Porter, Ruiz.
SKC: Nielsen; Myers, Collin, Besler, Sinovic; Nagamura, Rosell, Feilhaber; Zusi, Bieler, Sapong. Subs: Kronberg, Opara, Jerome, Joseph, Olum, Convey, Saad.
If you are able to watch, your pregame, in-game and postgame observations are welcome in our comments section.