The Washington Diplomats will rely more heavily on the clutch scoring of left winger Ken Mokgojoa as they attempt to expand on their three-game winning streak with an 8 p.m. visit to the Tampa Bay Rowdies tonight.
The contest will be televised by WTTG-Channel 5.
The Diplomats will need more scoring punch with their leading score, Paul Cannell (11 goals, seven assists) sitting on the sideline, saddled with a two-game suspension for an incident earlier in the season where he lowered his shorts to protest a referee's call.
Mokgojoa, the speedy 23-year-old South African, is the most likely choice to bear the burden. In the Dip's most recent tear, winning four of their last five outings. Mokgojoa has scored in each of the four triumps. He and midfielder Sakib Viteskic each has registered six goals and six assists for second place among Diplomat goal scorers.
Mokgojoa said the loss of Cannell would severely hurt the team, but could be compensated for. "I'll really have to try harder," he said. He said he would concentrate on "taking the defender out, to dribble the ball past him and shoot the ball for the corners. That's the only way we can do this."
Mokgojoa played a key role in the Diplomats' dramatic May 20 home decision over Tampa Bay. With less than two minutes remaining, Mokgojoa fired a shot which caromed off the crossbar to right winger Ray Graydon who knocked in the decisive tally in the 2-1 win.
Sweeperback Jim Steele, who missed the Dips' 3-2, come-from-behind victory Wednesday over the San Diego Sockers, because of a one-game suspension, will be back in action tonight.