Digest: MLS might force D.C. United to move home opener from SoccerPlex

Major League Soccer does not want D.C. United to play their home opener at Maryland SoccerPlex because of facility and security concerns, sources told The Washington Post. No final decision has been reached yet, but if the plan is rejected, United would have to scramble to arrange another location for the March 17 match against the Houston Dynamo. Audi Field, the club's 20,000-capacity stadium in Southwest Washington, is on schedule to open July 14 after a 16-month construction timetable. The club has not publicly announced its plans, but since last month, it has been lining up the SoccerPlex for the home debut and Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on April 14 against the Columbus Crew. A league representative inspected both sites in recent weeks. The Navy venue is expected to receive approval. MLS's primary concerns with the SoccerPlex, sources said, are the absence of a proper referees' locker room — it must include a restroom — and the swirl of activity throughout the day at a complex with more than 24 soccer fields and other facilities. The MSI Cherry Blossom Classic, a youth soccer tournament, will run March 16-18. That would perhaps leave Maryland's Capital One Field, which has ideal infrastructure and no scheduling conflicts but an artificial surface with permanent markings.

— Steven Goff, The Washington Post

Men's college basketball

UMBC Event Center to open for Feb. 3 game

The UMBC men's basketball team's showdown with America East Conference favorite Vermont will open the university's new $85 million, 6,000-seat Event Center next week. The school announced Wednesday that the Feb. 3 game would be the first event in the 172,000-square-foot facility, construction of which began in 2016. The Event Center will allow UMBC to host commencement ceremonies on its Catonsville campus. The school's women's basketball and women's volleyball teams also will play games there.

— Jonas Shaffer

Et cetera

Loyola Md.'s Spencer, UM's Kelly on USILA watch list

Loyola Maryland junior attackman Pat Spencer (Boys' Latin) and Maryland senior midfielder Connor Kelly were among the 11 players named to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Player of the Year watch list. Three finalists for the award will be announced May 7, and the winner will be named at NCAA championship weekend in Foxborough, Mass. The other players on the watch list are: Denver senior faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste, Albany senior attackman Connor Fields, Yale senior attackman Ben Reeves, Penn State junior attackman Grant Ament, sophomore faceoff specialist Gerard Arceri and junior defenseman Chris Sabia, Ohio State sophomore attackman Tre Leclaire and senior defenseman Ben Randall, and Notre Dame senior long-stick midfielder John Sexton.

More men's college lacrosse: Towson is favored to repeat as Colonial Athletic Association champions, according to a poll of the league's coaches. Tigers junior Zach Goodrich was the first midfielder to be named CAA Preseason Player of the Year and was joined on the preseason All-CAA team by junior midfielder Alex Woodall (St. Mary's) and senior defenseman Sid Ewell (CCBC-Essex). Towson collected 24 points and four of the six first-place votes. Hofstra was selected second with 22 points.

Women's college lacrosse: Towson was picked second in the CAA preseason poll. Six Tigers — senior midfielders Emily Gillingham and Kaitlyn Montalbano, senior defender Tianna Wallpher (Mount Hebron), junior attackers Natalie Sulmonte and Carly Tellekamp, and sophomore defender Olivia Conti — were selected to the All-CAA preseason team. Towson received 31 points, five behind defending CAA champion James Madison, which received six first-place votes.

Men's college basketball: Former Maryland star Greivis Vásquez will attend the Terps' 1 p.m. game vs. No. 6 Michigan State on Sunday at Xfinity Center. Maryland will host the Greivis Vásquez Foundation notebook before the game, and fans are encouraged to donate unused school supplies. Gates A-E will have receptacles.

Boat show: The Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show returns to the Baltimore Convention Center this week with doors open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today-Saturday and 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14 for adults, free for active military members with identification, and free for children 12 and under when accompanied by an adult. For more details, go to BaltimoreBoatShow.com or call 646-370-3593.

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