The Washington Diplomats may have the services of leading scorer Alan Green for tonight's 8 p.m. match against the Edmonton Drillers at RFK Stadium.
The fleet winger (21 points), sidelined the last six games with a groin pull, has indicated his leg is fine. "He's sure he can go," according to Coach Gordon Bradley.
There was some bad news, for the Dips yesterday - the loss of iron man defender Mike Dillon, who had played every minute of the previous 17 games. Dilon, suffered a bruised knee in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Philadelphia and will be out from 10 to 14 days.
"That's unreal. I've lost Dillon and Don Droge in a four-day period," Bradley said. "Green played pretty well in the scrimmage and I think he probably can play."
Rene Breevoort, who missed Sunday's game because of a one-game suspension, will move into Dillion's spot.
"I played the position in Holland so I don't think moving back there will be a problem," said Breevoort, who has played only the midfield for the Dips.
"You have to run more in the midfield. In the back, you have to mark your man tighter and can't make any mistakes. It's good to see Alan back. He and Paul (Cannell) play well together."
Though Washington (11-6 and 99 points) has snapped out of a slight slump with two victories in its last three games, the defense has been too generous as far as Bradley is concerned.
"It's hard enough to score goals in the game of soccer without giving them away," Bradley said. "I don't remember anyone giving us any. We've got to cut out the giveaways. We've conceded seven goals in seven games and most of them, if not all were results of individual mistakes."
The return of Jim Steele last week to the sweeper spot strengthened the defense. Dillion, Droege (who suffered a hyperextended leg and was replaced by Steele), Tommy O'Hara, Robert Iarusci and goalkeeper Bill Irwin have been consistent most of the season until recently.
"I think the way to get authority is to take it," Bradley said, "and Steele brings authority. We've got to try and get the team back together. Our injuries have forced me to make more substitutes than I like. But fortunately we've gotten through a sticky period."
The offense has been spotty without Green. Only Cannell, who scored both goals in Sunday's game, has appeared capable of putting the ball in the net. The striker now has eight goals, one less than Green.
The dips trail the Easern Division leading Cosmos (13-4) by 18 points and are 15 points ahead of Toronto (9-10). Washington's next three games are on the road and Bradley would not like to head to the West Coast off a loss against a weak team.
The Drillers (5-13), formerly the Oakland Stompers, have lost eight straight games. Injuries and inexperience have hurt the expansion club, though Bradley says he does not take the Drillers lightly.
"Rene told me he couldn't understand why they were 5-13," Bradley said. "They have some excellent Dutch players on the team. Additionally, they've added three good players in the last couple of weeks. This should be a difficult game and we'll have to fight for victory. But we definitely need it."
The Dips will feature a fireworks display at the half time . . . Lorenz Hilkes is the leading scorer for the Drillers with six goals and two assists for 14 points.