United plans to play Fulham in Florida

(D.C. United)
(D.C. United)

*D.C. United is in the process of agreeing to a July 26 friendly against Fulham at Jacksonville’s EverBank Field, home of the NFL’s Jaguars. Shahid Khan owns both Fulham and the Jaguars. The friendly would serve as one of the first events after the completion of stadium upgrades, which include one of the world’s largest video boards, cabana-style seating and wading pools.

With three Premier League matches remaining, the Cottagers (9-23-3) are in danger of relegation to the English Championship division.

United does not have a league match scheduled on the July 26-27 weekend. The club will host Chivas USA on July 20 and Toronto FC on July 30. Ben Olsen would likely mix regulars and reserves for the friendly. Presumably, the club will have expenses covered by the Jaguars and collect an appearance fee.

Jacksonville is also staging the U.S. national team’s friendly against Nigeria on June 7, the Americans’ final major tuneup before the World Cup in Brazil.

*Those rumors flying around the interwebs about United chasing Italian legend Alessandro del Piero? News to United’s staff. Del Piero, riding into the sunset in Australia, will turn 40 this year.

*Sometime today, I’ll post a link to my profile of Argentine forward Fabian Espindola. There are references to a piglet, waterfalls, a back-flip gone wrong, Maradona, a scuffle, “wonderful arrogance” and “plays angry.”

*I am expecting goalkeeper Bill Hamid to return to the lineup Saturday night against league-best FC Dallas at RFK Stadium after missing three matches with a toe injury. Andrew Dykstra performed well in his absence, conceding one goal, but Hamid is the clear first-choice keeper and, if not for the injury, would have retained the starting job. In other words, it’s not as if he were benched after a series of poor performances. Barring a late setback for Hamid, Dykstra will return to the No. 2 role.

Joe Willis, Dykstra’s back-up while Hamid recovered, is back with Richmond for Saturday’s USL-Pro match at Dayton. Conor Shanosky, Jalen Robinson and Christiano Francois were also assigned to the third-division Kickers this weekend. Michael Seaton will stay behind after suffering a minor ankle injury last week. Collin Martin also remained at home after returning from U.S. under-21 national team duty.

Standard TV for DCU vs. Dallas: none.

Pay package: Direct Kick, MLS Live.

Live stream: dcunited.com with Dallas announcers (available in Washington area only).

Radio for DCU vs. Dallas: none.

Referee: Fotis Bazakos (bio).

Game-time weather forecast: 69 degrees, partly cloudy, 20 percent chance of rain.

 

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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Steven Goff · April 24, 2014

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