Behind the badge: Heading west
Californians might find themselves recalling the energy crisis of 2001 on Sunday, as the Blackout heads west. D.C. United will take on the Kansas City Wizards in MLS Cup 2004 next Sunday, Nov. 14, at The Home Depot Center. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET and you can join your fellow fans of the Black-and-Red in supporting the Eastern Conference Champions as they aim for their fourth MLS Cup.
The Screaming Eagles have arranged a hotel and ticket package at the Best Western Sunrise at Redondo Beach Marina. The package includes three nights (Friday to Sunday) hotel accommodations and a ticket to the game in the D.C. United supporter's section. The package is only $250, $225 for current members of the Screaming Eagles.
For more information or to book a package, contact the Screaming Eagles at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-544-6744 and leave a message in the roadtrip's voice mail. You can also visit the Screaming Eagles' website at www.screaming-eagles.com.
If you'd prefer to make your own hotel and travel arrangements, you can still stand with fellow fans of D.C. United in The Home Depot Center. Call Gil Gamboa with the L.A. Galaxy at 877-342-5299 or 310-630-2236 and ask for tickets in the D.C. United section. Endline tickets begin at $28, with group discounts for 10 or more.
For both options, airfare remains your own responsibility, but several major carriers are still offering round-trip airfare around $300.
If you can't make the trip to Californai, you can still follow all the action. ABC Sports will bring the game to you live from the kickoff to the final whistle. Join JP Dellacamera, Eric Wynalda and Lorrie Fair as they call the action from the Home Depot Center.
Getting an early start
In addition to the one-game extension to their current season, United will get an early start on next year's work as they represent the United States in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. As announced last week, both Kansas City and D.C. United will represent Major League Soccer in the annual club championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
United will take on their first-round opponent (yet to be determined) in a two-leg home-and-home series on March 9 and 16, 2005. The Black-and-Red last contested the Champions Cup in 2002, where they were eliminated in the first round by Comunicaciones (GUA). United lifted the Cup in 1998, defeating CD Toluca of Mexico 1-0.
D.C. United will learn their opponent in a random draw at the offices of CONCACAF in early 2005. The eight-team tournament - the oldest international club tournament in the region - features two teams each from Mexico and the United States, a representative from the Caribbean Football Union and three teams from the UNCAF Torneo Interclubes.
2005 season tickets on sale
With United's extended run into the playoffs, fans can also take advantage of 2004 ticket pricing for a bit longer. Although D.C. United will be raising season ticket prices for the first time in more than two years for the 2005 season, current and prospective planholders can lock in 2004 prices until Nov. 30.
A deposit of $100 per ticket plan purchased will hold the current price for you. Tickets for the full season plan start as low as $234 for "Sectator" seats, with flexible plans of 6 vouchers - good for any game - available for less than the amount of a deposit.
In addition to giving you a seat to one of the most imposing home venues - as witnessed in Saturday's Eastern Conference Championship - in Major League Soccer, becoming a D.C. United planholder also gives you priority ticket purchasing power for D.C. United special events as well as other soccer events at RFK on select plans.
For more information, visit the tickets section of dcunited.com or call the sales office at 202-587-5000.
John Roushkolb is a contributor to DCUnited.com.