D.C. United at Cruz Azul

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What: CONCACAF Champions League, group stage.

Where: Azul Stadium, Mexico City.

When:10 p.m.

TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Telefutura.

Radio: WTOP (1050 AM), English; WXTR (730 AM), Spanish.

Standings: Marathon (Honduras) 2-1-1, Cruz Azul (Mexico) 2-1-1, Saprissa (Costa Rica) 2-1-1, United 0-3-1.

Outlook: With two games remaining, United is almost mathematically eliminated from securing one of the group's two berths in next year's quarterfinals of the regional championship. Even with a victory tonight, United would be knocked out of contention if Marathon and Saprissa tie on Thursday in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. After using mostly reserves in a surprising 2-2 tie at Saprissa on Oct. 9, United will call on a mix of regulars and backups against a club that earned a 1-0 victory at RFK in the first meeting three weeks ago. The 15-man travel roster includes GK Louis Crayton, Ds Marc Burch, Devon McTavish, Gonzalo Martínez and Bryan Namoff, MF Clyde Simms, and Fs Thabiso Khumalo and Francis Doe. Rookie D Greg Janicki is out with a hamstring injury and GK Zach Wells, MF Joe Vide and MF-F Rod Dyachenko are serving yellow card suspensions. Coach Tom Soehn is barred from the sideline after receiving a red card in the Saprissa game, but will be at the stadium. United's more significant game is Sunday at Columbus, the regular season finale that likely will determine whether it qualifies for the MLS playoffs. Cruz Azul is 5-3-4 in Mexican league play after a 2-0 home loss to Morelia on Saturday.

-- Steven Goff

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