Behind the badge: Last minute tune-up

Following a preseason of fun in the sun in locations such as Florida and Hawaii, the five inches of snow D.C. United found on their return home was quite a shock. As the Black-and-Red become acclimated to the snow and wintry chill in Washington, the coaching staff is seeking the best way to prepare the squad for Wednesday night's CONCACAF Champion's Cup match against Harbour View. The team has been practicing diligently on the training field at RFK Stadium following their return from Hawaii and Aloha Cup success.

The technical staff, however, felt that one final game is necessary for the team before the March 9 clash with Harbour View. United will therefore travel tomorrow to Virginia Commonwealth University to play the Richmond Kickers of the USL First Division. The coaching staff is using this game to keep match fitness high and continue the excellent team form that has led to a preseason of six victories with only one defeat. The 90-minute scrimmage will be closed to the public.

Coming to a TV set near you

Fox Soccer Channel, formerly Fox Sports World, will air United's CONCACAF Champions Cup match against Harbour View live on Wednesday night. United will host the Jamaican club in a home-and-away series for passage into the semifinal round. The home game will take place at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown at 7:30 p.m. ET. The return leg will be played at Harbour View Mini Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on March 16.

Having won the 2004 MLS Cup, D.C. United qualified for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the longest running international club competition in the region. United previously won the CONCACAF Championship in 1998, beating Mexico's Toluca 1-0. The Black-and-Red were the first team from the United States to win this tournament.

Individual game tickets are now on sale at Ticketmaster and the Maryland SoccerPlex. Groups of 20 or more may purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $16 per seat (all seats are general admission). Seating capacity at the Maryland SoccerPlex is limited so be sure to purchase in advance. Call now at (202) 587-5000 or log on to www.dcunited.com for more information.

New faces hope to make an impact

Marcelo Kobistyj, an Argentine central defender, is currently on trial with D.C. United. United continue the search to replace former captain Ryan Nelson after his move to English club Blackburn Rovers during the offseason. Kobistyj has previously played in Italy, Spain and Argentina, most notably for Independiente and Huracan. The technical staff will continue to monitor his play as he trains with the team for the next few days.

Also joining United on trial is Jamil Walker. Formerly of the San Jose Earthquakes and CD Chivas USA, Walker is a forward who played a large role in the Earthquakes' MLS Cup championship in 2003. Fellow trialists Stephen de Roux, who suffered a fracture in his right foot while training in Hawaii, and Bobby Boswell are continuing their training with D.C. United as the technical staff prepare the final team roster.


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