In a major departure from professional sports tradition, the Washington Diplomats will televise Saturday night's home game with the San Jose Earthquakes.

The game will be seen live on WTTG-TV-5 starting at 8 p.m.

"We feel that we need to expose the atmosphere of soccer at RFK Stadium," John Carbray, general manager of the Diplomats, said yesterday. "We want the people to get a chance to see and feel what soccer is like here and this is one way to do it."

Carbray experimented with the concept last year when he was general manager at San Jose, televising three home games.

"It worked very well for us there," Carbray said. "Obviously, you wonder if television will hurt attendance. We drew an average of 21,000 for those three games and our season's average was 19,000.

"When the television station starts promoting the telecast, it's like free advertising for us. It gets people thinking that there's a game in town this weekend."

Carbray added that he felt that TV was an important part of promoting the team and planned to try and work out a package with WTTG for next season that would include televising all road games.

Sometime in the next 10 days Diplomat coach Alan Spavin will name an assistant coach. Spavin said he feels he needs some help running the team and will probably ask one of the veteran players to assume player-coaching responsibilities.

The most likely candidate would appear to be John Kerr, who has been used in a part-time role most of the season. Team captain Gary Darrell and goalie Eric Mathe season. Team captain Gary Darrell and goalie Eric Martin are the two other logical candidates for the job.

Carbray said he has been in touch with other clubs around the league about a possible deal.

He has a large picture of San Jose's Paul Child, one of the league's top scorers, on his office wall and admits "I'd love to have Child here." But, he added, "I don't think a key of dynamite will get him out of San Jose.

"We need a big guy up front, no doubt about it," Carbary said. "Right now, we're in a sort of holding pattern. I'm looking for people who can help us next year. I'm staying in touch with people around the league in case something comes up."

NASL teams are not allowed to make a deal between the 21st game of the season until after and the conclusion of the playoffs. The Dip's 21st game is Tuesday night in Hawaii.

The Cosmo's 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders marked the fifth straight loss on national television for the New York team over the past two season . . . Los Angeles Aztec Steve David continues to lead the league in scoring with 22 goals and four assists for 48 points; Washington has scored 21 goals as a team for the season with Alan Green the leading scorer with six goals . . . Tony Macken's miss Saturday night made the Dips one for two on penalty kicks; earlier in the year, Peter Sylvester was successful against Connecticut . . . Dips' 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay last Wednesday was only the fourth loss in 31 home games for the Rowdies over three seasons.