D.C. United vs. Cruz Azul

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What: Champions League, group stage.

Where: RFK Stadium. When:8 p.m.

TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Telefutura.

Radio: WTOP (1050 AM), English; WACA (1540 AM), Spanish.

Group A Standings: Marathon (Honduras) 2-0, Cruz Azul (Mexico) 1-1, Saprissa (Costa Rica) 1-1, United 0-2.

Outlook: With another loss, United would essentially drop from contention for a quarterfinal berth in this inaugural tournament, which will crown the top club in North and Central America and the Caribbean next spring. Struggling to reach the MLS playoffs, United has decided to emphasize the regular season and hope for the best in the Champions League. Hence, Coach Tom Soehn is likely to rest many starters tonight and let them prepare for Saturday's home game against Chivas USA. Reserves who might be in the lineup tonight include GK Zach Wells, D Mike Zaher, and MFs Ryan Cordeiro, Rod Dyachenko, Joe Vide and Quavas Kirk. D-MF Marc Burch returns from his regular season suspension, but F Luciano Emilio (hamstring) is out. MF Marcelo Gallardo (adductor strain) has returned from a rehab stint in his native Argentina but said he probably won't play tonight. United already has played four matches against Mexican opposition this year, splitting a pair of games with Pachuca in the Champions' Cup in the spring and losing to Chivas Guadalajara and Atlante in SuperLiga in July. Since winning the U.S. Open Cup tournament on Sept. 3, United has gone 0-5-1 in all competitions. Cruz Azul is coming off a 2-0 loss to Mexico City rival Club América on Sunday, dropping its Mexican league record to 4-2-3. The club is captained by MF Gerardo Torrado, a Mexican national team regular who has played in two World Cups.

-- Steven Goff

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