By Chris Hummer
In case you haven’t noticed, Sunday is kind of a big day for soccer around the Mid-Atlantic region. If you’re reading this, you’re probably just the type of person who should make sure to check out at least one of the following options because there’s always something to learn at a live game, and the community needs your influence to grow the game.
The “BIG ONE” is D.C. United hosting Houston at RFK on Sunday at 4 p.m. The four-time MLS champions are one great result away from not only a return to their sixth MLS Cup final, but from actually HOSTING the annual event. Sunday is the second leg of a 2-leg (game) playoff series, where the total goals from games determine the winner. United lost 3-1 in Houston last weekend, but Houston are b-a-d on the road, and United not only has a point to prove, they likely have Dwayne De Rosario back in the line up. If the aggregate score is tied at the end of the game, a 30-minute overtime would be played, then PKs if still no winner. Tickets are close to – if not already – sold out for this one, so move quickly. If they’re sold out online, call your D.C. United ticket rep directly and see what they might have.
The “AWESOME ONES” – yes, plural. NCAA Tournament (November Madness?) action has several big games already slated or to potentially be played in the area on Sunday. If you can’t get a ticket to D.C. United at RFK Sunday, set the DVR and head out to one of these!
On the women’s side, both Maryland and Virginia play Friday night. If Maryland wins AND Stanford loses, Maryland would host Santa Clara on Sunday (presumably scheduled as a double header with Maryland Men – see below). If UVA win over Rutgers tonight, they would host Duke on Sunday. Georgetown could potentially host Illinois Sunday as well, if Illinois gets past North Carolina, and the Hoyas down favored Baylor (Editor’s note: It is not clear whether Illinois or Georgetown would host such a match, we could not find a definitive answer by press time).
On the men’s side, it’s hard to imagine anything topping last Sunday’s Maryland victory at the Maryland SoccerPlex over defending NCAA Champion North Carolina for the ACC Championship. But thanks to Maryland and Georgetown each earning a top 4 seed, both schools could host three more games on their way to the National Championship Final Four in Hoover, Alabama, December 7 and 9.
Maryland host Brown on Sunday, presumably at 5 p.m., but if the Maryland Women also end up hosting, times may be adjusted.
Georgetown host Charlotte at 1 p.m. Sunday in DC. If you skip the tailgating at RFK, you could make this game, then bolt over to United vs. Houston!
Virginia Commonwealth are also making a run, enjoying a 14th-seed position after an impressive regular season. The Rams host Syracuse at 7 p.m. in Richmond for all you Virginians who aren’t feeling a trip inside the DC beltway. If both the Hoyas and VCU win, they face each other November 25!
On the road this weekend? Both UMBC and Virginia are in the same boat and also still in the NCAAs. UVA visits 13-seed New Mexico Sunday night, and UMBC plays a little closer to home, just a short trip down I-95 / I-85 to Chapel Hill, taking on UNC.
And if you just can’t make it to any of these, or only have Saturday to spare, there’s always the elite youth side of things, with the Richmond Strikers’ girls weekend of the Capital Fall Classic underway, and Bethesda hosting the boys weekend of their Thanksgiving showcase series.
So you see, no excuses. Even the weather is pretty much perfect for fall soccer! Like a lovely English summer… without the rain. You can DVR Real Madrid and ManU, and you can get in a car or on Metro and go be part of something really big – for the good of the game… See you there.