The Washington Post

Thursday kickaround: Euro 2012 playoff pairings, D.C. United comments, Chicago Fire suspensions, Georgetown Hoyas, Maryland Terrapins

*UEFA conducted the draw for the 2012 European Championship playoffs Thursday, and Ireland is really liking the outcome:

Ireland vs. Estonia

Czech Republic vs. Monte­negro

Portugal vs. Bosnia

Croatia vs. Turkey

The first legs will be played Nov. 11 or 12, the finales on Nov. 15. Full details.

*A sample of D.C. United comments following the Vancouver loss:

Ben Olsen: “It was a pretty much unacceptable performance. ... It comes down to starting the right way and it wasn’t there and then we make life so difficult on ourselves throughout the game. ... We deserved to lose.”

Josh Wolff: “It’s very difficult to come from behind and to fall asleep 30 seconds into the game. It’s tough to imagine, but we did it twice” --first minute of each half.

Santino Quaranta: “That’s stuff you learn when you’re 10 years old — you start halves and you end halves well. To come out and have this happen 30 seconds in is silly.”

For details of three Chicago Fire card suspensions and a college soccer update.....

*With a 2-1 home loss to FC Dallas on Wednesday, the Chicago Fire is all but out of the MLS playoff chase. To make matters worse, three starters will serve suspensions for Saturday’s match at D.C. United: Defenders Cory Gibbs and Dan Gargan are out on yellow card accumulation and midfielder Pavel Pardo received a red card.

*Georgetown, ranked 20th in the NSCAA poll, defeated Seton Hall, 3-1, setting up a big match with No. 12 Notre Dame on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Washington.

Meantime, third-ranked Maryland (12-1-1) is preparing for Friday’s home game against ACC rival Duke (7 p.m., The match features two of the top forwards in the country: Maryland senior Casey Townsend (12 goals) and Duke junior Andrew Wenger (15 goals, 7 assists).

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.

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