The Washington Diplomats, beset by offensive woes, attempt to break through against the winless Chicago Sting in a North American Soccer League game this afternoon at Soldier Field.

The Dips (1-3) may get the offensive thrust it needs from striker Bobby Stokes, who joined the club this week. Stokes replaces Peter Sylvester, who has both goals scored by the Dips this season.

"We're not placing any blame on Peter," said Washington coach Dennis Viollet, in explaining the lineup change. "He's just going through lean times at the moment and a rest may do him good."

Striker Stokes will be teamed with Mike Lester, Jimmy Redfern and Mark Liveric across the front in Violert's new "4-2-4" alignment.

"We got the players to score. Now we just have to go out and prove it," added Viollet. "Each week I see more positive things. I feel a lot better after four games this year than I did at this same point a year ago."

Washington was outshot 22 to 16 in a 1-0 loss at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last week. However, the Dips came within inches of scoring on several occasions.

Viollet has no complaints about his defensive unit. It has allowed only four games. Unfortunately, the offense has supported the defenders with scores. A third Dip's goal was kicked in by a Connecticut player. Recently acquired Jim Steele turned in a fine performance in his debut as the sweeperback on defense last week.

Chicago (0-3), the defending Northern Division titlist, has also been having its problems. Stefan Szefer has accounted for the Sting's lone goal, that coming in a 2-1 loos to Los Angeles last week. Chicago's defense has been somewhat generous surrendering seven goals.

The Sting features one of the youngest clubs in the NASL.Three starters, Miro Rys, Jimmy Kelly and John Lowey, are 20 years old.

Chicago plays on Astro Turf so Violet, hoping to prepare his club for the hard field, worked out at Redskin Park.