The Diplomats, back from a two-game West Coast trip with a bag of 17 fresh points in the North American Soccer League standings, meet East Division rival Rochester tonight at 8 in RFK Stadium.

The Dips flew home yesterday a happy bunch following Thursday night's 2-1 overtime shootout victory in Seattle on top of last Saturday's 5-1 rout of San Jose.

The cellar-dwelling Rochester Lancers, last in the division with a 12-14 record and 112 points, are led in scoring by Francisco Bolota's 12 goals and two assists. Goalkeeper Ratko Svilar has allowed 1.56 goals per game. Their leading scorer last season, Mike Stojanovic, broke an ankle and is out for the season.

Diplomat defender Jim Steele will not play tonight to serve a one-game suspension for an earlier ejection.Gary Darrell, who scored Washington's first goal against Seattle, most likely will start in his place.

Part of the proceeds from tonight's game will go to the Special Olympics program for mentally retarded children. Dollar-off coupons may be obtained at area Gulf service stations and from Coca-Cola cartons. The Diplomats will donate $2 for each ticket sold through coupons to the Special Olympics.

In Thursday's game, Darrell received a pass from Cus Hiddink and booted in a 16-yarder for a 1-1 tie with 13 1/2 minutes left in regulation. After two scoreless 7 1/2 minutes left in regulation. After two scoreless 7 1/2 minute overtimes, the best-of-five shootout came into play.

Ray Graydon and Booby Stokes, a late-game substitute, each converted to give Washington a 2-0 lead. But the Sounders made two of their final three kicks against Diplomat goalie Bob Stetler to send the shootout into sudden death.

On Washington's eighth kick, striker Paul Cannell booted the ball past Sounder goalie Tony Chursky and when Stetler thwarted the eighth Seattle kicker, the Dips had their sixth victory in their last seven starts and a 15-10 season record.