D.C. United’s match against Real Salt Lake is halted by rain.

Game will re­sume in 29th minute on Sun­day night at RFK

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY STEVEN GOFF steven.goff@wash­post.com

Soc­cer post­pone­ments are un­com­mon. Aside from sus­tained light­ning, a snow­storm or a se­verely wa­ter­logged pitch, the game goes on.

But when a mon­ster thun­der­storm roared through the area Sat­ur­day with D.C. United and Real Salt Lake in a 29th-minute score­less dead­lock, RFK Sta­dium’s field turned into a newly formed lake and the steps to the locker rooms mor­phed into rag­ing wa­ter­falls.

The rain and light­ning sub­sided af­ter 90 min­utes and the field be­gan to drain, but too much wa­ter had fallen and sev­eral stub­born pud­dles stood. At about 9:05 p.m., af­ter in­spect­ing the field, ref­eree Drew Fis­cher post­poned the match.

The MLS teams will pick up where they left off Sun­day night at 7 p.m.

The post­pone­ment con­tin­ued a strange sum­mer for United: Last month, weather is­sues can­celed team flights to Mon­treal and Min­nesota and forced D.C. to ar­rive on the day of the games. (United lost both by a com­bined 6-0.)

In United’s 22-sea­son his­tory, a few home matches have been post­poned be­cause of se­vere weather and oth­ers ham­pered by power out­ages.

This is United’s fi­nal year at RFK, which opened in 1961. Next sum­mer, the club will move into Audi Field, a 20,000-ca­pac­ity venue near Na­tion­als Park.

Sat­ur­day’s storm in­ter­rupted Paul Ar­riola’s D.C. de­but. The U.S. na­tional team mid­fielder joined United this past week af­ter trans­fer­ring from Mex­i­can club Ti­juana.

He was the only one of United’s four new­com­ers to start Sat­ur­day. Mid­fielder Rus­sell Canouse and Bo­li­vian for­ward Bruno Mi­randa were on the bench, while Hun­gar­ian mid­fielder Zoltan Stieber re­mains in­el­i­gi­ble un­til his work per­mit is ap­proved.

Real Salt Lake ar­rived with three con­sec­u­tive draws and four in­di­vid­u­als with lo­cal ties: for­mer United play­ers Nick Ri­mando, Luis Silva and Mike Petke (now RSL’s head coach) and Crofton na­tive Kyle Beck­er­man.

United’s busy off-field ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the week car­ried into match day with no­table upticks in body lan­guage and en­ergy.

Ar­riola worked a com­bi­na­tion with Jared Jef­frey, free­ing Nick DeLeon for a ris­ing threat that Ri­mando punched away. Ar­riola’s speed and one-touch in­stincts helped United play at a fast pace.

But with the storm ap­proach­ing, the play­ers hus­tled to the locker rooms and the fans were in­structed to take shel­ter on the con­course.

Notes: Lloyd Sam (red card sus­pen­sion), Ian Harkes (an­kle), Pa­trick Nyarko (con­cus­sion), Tay­lor Kemp (hip) and Rob Vin­cent (knee) weren’t avail­able . . . . Ju­lian Buescher was on the game-day ros­ter but, to make room on the in­ter­na­tional clas­si­fi­ca­tion for Stieber, he is ex­pected to go on loan soon to the sec­ond-di­vi­sion Rochester Rhi­nos.


The post­poned match against Real Salt Lake con­tin­ued an un­usual stretch of weather-re­lated de­lays for D.C. United this sea­son.

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