D.C. United at Sporting Kansas City

Greetings from Kansas City — the Kansas side of the river.

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.

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET.

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 tunes: We pay tribute to the American Jazz Museum in the historic 18th and Vine District, a must-see for music lovers. Hit it, Charlie.

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.

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 · April 5, 2013