This is the one gamethread to rule them all. Tonight, D.C. United host the Columbus Crew in their first ever MLS home match outside of RFK, and AT THE SAME TIME the United States will face off with Nigeria in the final segment of their World Cup Send-Off Series. (In an unrelated happening, this evening could also provide the biggest moment in horse racing since 1978, something I'm personally quite excited for.) This is your one-stop shop for info on all of it, as well as, of course, one massive gamethread.
International Friendly: United States vs. Nigeria
Kickoff Time: 6pm EDT
Venue: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
TV/Streaming: ESPN and UniMas will carry the game in English and Spanish, respectively. Online, you can find the game on WatchESPN, which is nice because D.C. United won't be available online within the DC area. So if you're planning on multitasking this evening and you're a DMV resident, this will be the game you'll want to push to your laptop or tablet.
Projected USA XI: Final tuneup means we should expect the World Cup starters to run out, especially because Nigeria is a stand-in for Ghana, the USMNT's first opponents in Brazil. If the diamond is here to stay, we'll see it again tonight. As much as I'd like to see a few other names in some spots, I think we'll see this 4-1-3-2 - Tim Howard; Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler, Timmy Chandler; Jermaine Jones; Graham Zusi, Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya; Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey.
Prediction: I think it clicks tonight in the first half, and the US run out to a two goal lead thanks to Altidore and Zusi, but they take their foot off the gas and allow Nigeria back into the game, conceding a goal late - just like against Turkey - to finish 2-1.
MLS Week 14: D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew
Kickoff Time: 6:30pm EDT
Venue: FedExField, Landover, Md.
TV/Streaming: Look for the match on Comcast SportsNet if you're in the local region or on MLS Direct Kick or MLS Live if you're a part of the diaspora.
Projected DC XI: I have a weird inkling that Ben Olsen could do some experimenting in the absence of suspended midfielder Perry Kitchen (yellow card accumulation), but It's probably more likely we see just a straight swap for him within the usual 4-4-2 - Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke, Cristian Fernandez; Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud, Lewis Neal, Chris Rolfe; Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola.
Prediction: With the Crew missing talisman Federico Higuain, I just don't see them generating enough attack to beat Bill Hamid and the massively (see what I did there?) improved defense in front of him, even sans-Kitchen. On the other side, I think EJ gets up for the big crowd and nets a brace as the Black-and-Red come out 2-0 winners.
What Are You Drinking?: Gin rickeys all day long.
Bonus Not Soccer Thing: 2014 Belmont Stakes
Why not add a third event to this post? California Chrome will try to become the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown this evening. The race goes off at 6:52pm EDT and can be seen on NBC and online on NBC Sports Live Extra. For more information, check out SB Nation's preview.
Now, for a whole lot of soccer, and a bit over two minutes of horses. As always, this is your place for any and all pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary and conversation. Let's have some fun.
Come on you Rocket Pops! Vamos United!