D.C. United begins U.S. Open Cup play against FC Dallas
What: U.S. Open Cup preliminary round.
Where: RFK Stadium.
When: 7:30 p.m.
Online: Live video at DCUnited.com
Radio: WDCN (87.7 FM), Spanish.
Outlook: Winless in four MLS matches and beset with injuries, United begins pursuit of a berth in the U.S. Open Cup, a 96-year-old competition involving teams from all levels of American soccer. The survivor of this match will host Real Salt Lake next month, with that winner advancing to the round of 16 and a meeting with a lower-division opponent in the tournament proper this summer.
Last year, D.C. defeated Dallas in the preliminary round, 2-0, at RFK. United has reached the championship game two straight times, defeating the second-division Charleston (S.C.) Battery in 2008 and losing to the MLS's Seattle Sounders last year.
Injuries have left United Coach Curt Onalfo with few lineup options. Forward Danny Allsopp (hamstring) and defender Julius James (groin) have joined regulars Chris Pontius, Dejan Jakovic, Juan Manuel Peña, Bryan Namoff and Marc Burch on the sideline. Midfielder Clyde Simms will be available for the first time since straining a hamstring in late March but seems unlikely to start.
Goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who rose through the club's youth academy before signing a contract last fall, might make his professional debut. Onalfo declined to say whether Hamid or Troy Perkins would start. Dallas (0-1-3 in league play) lost in the tournament final in 2005 and '07.
-- Steven Goff