A heavenly afternoon for football at RFK Stadium. Whether D.C. United remains in a sunny mood all afternoon is another matter.
The Los Angeles Galaxy arrives fully stocked and playoff hungry, although four players returning from international duty, including Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, might play limited minutes.
All three United victories have come at home. With a 4-8-2 away record and 18 scored, the Galaxy has not been very good on the road. United has conceded 17 goals in the first 30 minutes of matches, the Galaxy has allowed 17 — more than half of its season total — in the last 15 minutes.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET.
TV: Comcast SportsNet/DC, UniMas.
If you are watching CSN, you will hear strange voices. That is because CSN is taking the Galaxy’s TV feed — even though it’s a United home match. No Dave Johnson and John Harkes in the booth for local viewers. Instead, you’ll listen to John Shrader and Cobi Jones. (Johnson is the sideline reporter.)
The explanation can be traced to the match being moved from Sunday to Saturday — a switch made at the request of the Galaxy, which faced a cross-country trip ahead of a CONCACAF Champions League game Wednesday. United agreed, in part because Saturday is a better draw than Sunday. (The original Sunday date accommodated UniMas, the national rights holder for this match.)
The date change, however, messed with CSN’s production schedule. (The crew was already scheduled to work another event Saturday.) So to maintain a D.C. broadcast, Time Warner, the Galaxy’s carrier, agreed to make the feed available to CSN. Makes some sense, right? Hope so. Best I can do.
In case you missed it, my Q&A with Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena.
Referee: Drew Fischer.
United injuries: John Thorrington (quadriceps), Jared Jeffrey (ankle) and Daniel Woolard (hamstring) are out.
DCU: Hamid; Korb, White, Jakovic, Riley; DeLeon, Kitchen, Neal, Pontius; Silva; De Rosario. Subs: Willis, Iapichino, Shanosky, Nyassi, Porter, Martin, Doyle.
LAG: Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Jimenez, Juninho, Sarvas, Zardes; Donovan, Keane. Subs: Rowe, Opare, Franklin, Mastroeni, McBean, Villarreal, Stephens.
Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome in the comments section.