Maryland SoccerPlex to Host DC United’s 2018 Home Opener on Saturday
The Maryland SoccerPlex announced it will host the DC United’s opener this Saturday, March 17 at 1:30 pm start time. United is playing its first two home games of the 2018 season at neutral sites as the team makes final preparations for the opening of Audi Field its new home.
DC United will play Houston Dynamo on Saturday, as they look for their first win of the young 2018 season. DC opened the season with a 1-1 draw against Orlando on March 3 and suffered a 3-1 loss at Atlanta on Sunday, March 11.
Houston comes to Boyds with a 1-1 record with a 4-0 win over Atlanta and a 2-1 loss to Vancouver last Saturday. This will be the Dynamo’s first road game of the season.
Saturday’s game at the SoccerPlex will be one of just two Washington D.C. area games for DC United until their new stadium opens on July 14. The other area game will be played April 14 at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis as they host the Columbus Crew for 7:00 pm game.
The Maryland SoccerPlex has served as a host for many of DC United’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches dating back to 2001. The most recent was a June 13, 2017, match against Christos F.C.
“We are thrilled to host the 2018 DC United home game,” said Maryland SoccerPlex Executive Director Trish Heffelfinger. “I am really excited about it because it is our first opportunity to do an MLS game.”
She said hosting the DC United Home Opener has been a learning experience for the SoccerPlex staff because hosting an event like an MLS game brings new challenges and opportunities. “We’ve done the DC United Open Cup games in the past. It has been fascinating to find out that an MLS game is a completely different operation,” said Heffelfinger. “We are learning a lot because of it. We have been meeting with MLS operations, and security people, as well as DC United folks, and learning that they do things in a way that we have not done in the past.”
She said one of the challenges was the expanded television coverage for the game, which brings more cameras and equipment to the Plex than the NWSL games have required in the past.
“They have cameras at the 18s (the top of the goal box) with scissor lifts located up on the concours