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D.C. United finally comes home
by Ridge Mahoney, March 18th, 2008 6:45AM
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[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS CUP] Anything less than a convincing win Tuesday night in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals against Jamaican club Harbour View will be seen as a disappointment.

D.C. and Harbour View tied, 1-1, last week in the first leg on a hard, bumpy field in Kingston. D.C. took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Devon McTavish inadvertently blocked, then controlled a Marcelo Gallardo shot and knocked in the loose ball. Harbour View snagged a late equalizer when D.C. failed to clear a corner kick and Lovel Palmer volleyed a shot home.

Jaime Moreno, who hobbled off with a hamstring pull in the 19th minute, will miss the second leg and perhaps the season opener March 29 against Kansas City. Yet Franco Niell looked lively enough in the first leg to probably get a start up top with Luciano Emilio, and a smooth, dry surface at RFK should allow the forwards and playmaker Gallardo to display their skills and fluent play.

The second leg will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel at 7:30 Eastern.

If United advances, it plays the winner of the Atlante-Deportivo Saprissa series that the Mexican club leads, 2-1. In last year's semifinals, United lost to Guadalajara, 3-2, on aggregate after tying the home leg, 1-1.

D.C. has spent much of the preseason away from home, competing in the Texas Pro Soccer Challenge in San Antonio after stints in Florida and California. After Tuesday's match, it heads to Richmond, Va., to play the USL Kickers on Saturday in its final preseason match.



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