ALBANY, N.Y., JUNE 9 -- The Washington Commandos opened their 1990 Arena Football League season with a 16-12 loss to the Albany Firebirds before 7,813 at Knickerbocker Arena tonight.

In his arena football debut, former Redskins wide receiver Charlie Brown caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Tony Burris in the second quarter for what turned out to be Washington's final score.

The touchdown made it 12-6, but the Commandos didn't threaten again and could not stop the Firebirds, who scored 10 fourth-quarter points.

Washington dominated statistically, gaining more yards passing (16 completions for 139 yards) and rushing (10 carries for 41 yards) than Albany (11-93 and 17-30). But Burris's three interceptions in the fourth quarter took the Commandos out of the game.

The Firebirds took the lead, 13-12, with 7:11 gone in the final quarter. Gary Gussman added his third field goal to complete the scoring.

Washington took a 6-0 lead 11:16 into the game when Alvin Blount recovered a fumble and ran five yards. Gussman's two field goals tied the score before Brown gave the Commandos the lead.

Brown finished with two catches for 44 yards and 83 total yards.

Game Summary on Page B15