The Washington Capitals announced yesterday they will play the United States Olympic team in an exhibition game Sept. 30 at Capital Centre.

The Capitals' 11-game preseason schedule begins Sept. 15 against Toronto and includes games against Minnesota, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers. The Capitals will also play in Baltimore and Richmond in hopes of increasing their fan base, according to General Manager David Poile.

The Capitals will practice at the Mount Vernon Sports Complex in Alexandria, moving from Fort Dupont. The facility will include a dressing room, pool, sauna and a trainer's area and practices will be open free to the public.

Poile also announced the signing of forward David Christian, who was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets last month. "He's exactly the type of player we want," Poile said. "His greatest asset is that he's versatile."

The U.S.-born Christian, a member of the 1980 gold medal-winning Olympic team, was excited about leaving Canada. "Taxes? Basically they take half of what you make. Plus, on the exchange rate you lose another 20 percent," he said.

Christian specializes in killing penalties and playing the right point on power plays, a Capitals weakness last season. He scored 44 points last year. His high was 1981-82 when he scored 25 goals and 51 assists.

Team owner Abe Pollin said negotiations are continuing with The Sports Network about a link-up of Capitals' games on this new sports cable channel. Poile said WDCA-TV-20 will televise a minimum of 15 regular-season games next season.

The Capitals' preseason schedule:

Sept. 15, at Toronto; 16, Minnesota at London, Ontario; 17, Minnesota at Kitchener, Ontario; 21, Pittsburgh at Hershey, Pa.; 22, at Quebec; 23, at Hartford; 24, Hartford at Hershey, Pa.; 25, Pittsburgh at Baltimore; 27, New York Rangers at Richmond; 30, U.S. Olympic Team at Capital Centre; Oct. 1, Philadelphia at Hershey, Pa.