A pair of teams keen on claiming conference glory met at RFK Stadium on Friday evening as D.C. United welcomed Sporting Kansas City, and though neither found it, United were able to celebrate a tremendous turnaround and claim the East's first playoff berth.
Both teams struggled to break through as the two sides played to an entertaining, scrappy 0-0 draw in front of a rain-soaked crowd. The result pushed United’s point total to 52, good enough to guarantee a playoff berth one year removed from a historically bad season in which they claimed just 16 points.
With a positive result on Friday night against Sporting Kansas City, D.C. United punches its ticket to the Eastern Conference Playoffs (Friday, October 3 - BUY TICKETS). The Black-and-Red, having already beaten Sporting twice this year, know the visitors will be desperate and determined to avoid a sweep at RFK Stadium.
The value Fabián Espíndola adds to D.C. United isn't easily calculated but impossible to miss. To determine his impact through stats wouldn’t do him justice but that doesn’t make his numbers any less impressive. Exclusively listening to his teammates’ praise wouldn’t give you the full picture.
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There are plenty of things that are different about Bobby Boswell in his second stint with D.C. United. But there’s one way in which he has been the same throughout his MLS career.
When Boswell is your center back, you are a contender.
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"We’re still holding tight on our main goal [of making the playoff]," Perry Kitchen
DCU on the brink
The tantalizing temptation is to think back to the last time.
Two years ago, D.C. United ended its four-year playoff drought in dramatic fashion before the largest crowd of the 2012 season at RFK Stadium.
After one season without playoffs, it has the chance to do so again in front of home fans on Friday, needing just a tie with Sporting Kansas City to claim a place in the 2014 MLS postseason.
With a playoff berth within reach, United hits the training field
With the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs hanging in the balance, D.C. United returned to training and set its eyes on Friday’s big Eastern Conference match up versus Sporting Kansas City. With a win or a tie Friday night, United will be the first Eastern Conference team to clinch a playoff berth. Kansas City, who is currently tied for second place in the Eastern Conference with the New England Revolution, is trying to avoid being swept by United for the first time since 2006.