D.C. United at Marathon

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What: CONCACAF Champions League, which determines the best pro team from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Where: Olympic Metropolitan Stadium, San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

When: Tuesday, 10 p.m.

TV: Fox Soccer Channel.

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

United's Group B Schedule

(Two teams will advance to quarterfinals)

Tuesday: at Marathon (Honduras)

Aug. 26: Toluca (Mexico), at RFK Stadium

Sept. 15: at San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad & Tobago)

Sept. 24: Marathon, at RFK

Sept. 30: San Juan Jabloteh, at RFK

Oct. 20: at Toluca

Outlook: Based on the strength of their respective leagues, United and Toluca are the group favorites. However, United went 0-5-1 at this stage of the competition last year and has hit a rough patch in MLS this summer with only one victory in its past seven matches to slip into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, two points below the cutoff to make the playoffs. MF Ben Olsen returns to the squad after sitting out Saturday's league game at Toronto because of a yellow card suspension. MF Danny Szetela also is expected to play after missing the Canada trip to work on fitness. MF Fred's red card in the Champions League preliminary-round finale means he will miss the Marathon match, and D Bryan Namoff (hamstring) will sit out to prepare for Saturday's league game against Los Angeles at RFK. Newly acquired D David Habarugira might make his debut Tuesday. Marathon, the second-most popular team in Honduras behind Olimpia of Tegucigalpa, won the domestic league's Apertura title (first half of the season) last year. Despite a 3-2 loss to Real EspaƱa on Saturday, Marathon is in first place with a 4-1-1 record.

-- Steven Goff

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