From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes.
Two weeks ago this Saturday, DC United defeated the Columbus Crew in the final match of the regular season to clinch its first spot in the MLS playoffs since 2007. United treated the crowd to an instant classic, trading goals with the Crew until Lewis Neal punched home the game winner in extra time to send the sold out stadium into a frenzy (seriously, fast forward to 1:07 and watch the beer fly!).
DC United’s quest for the Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup begins this Saturday, November 3 at 8 pm at RFK Stadium against the team’s greatest rivals, New York Red Bulls. (The match was originally scheduled to be played in New Jersey, but Red Bull Arena is currently without power as a result of Hurricane Sandy.) The teams will play two matches, one at each home stadium, and whichever team scores the most goals combined advances to the Eastern Conference finals.
When you head to RFK Stadium on Saturday, be sure to dress appropriately. DC United is planning a “blackout” in celebration of the team’s most important match in five years. If you don’t already have a black shirt or jersey, just stop by the team store before heading through the gates to join Olsen’s Army.
Want to get the party started early? Lot Eight opens at 5:30 pm for your tailgating pleasure. The team is expecting a sell out crowd, so make sure you get your tickets in advance.
From Borderstan guest columnist, Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes.
Just one week after the Nationals’ season came to an abrupt and disappointing end, another local team is busy gearing up for a shot at post-season glory. That’s right, DC United takes on Columbus Crew this Saturday evening, October 20, at RFK Stadium (2400 East Capitol Street NE). The match kicks off at 7:30 pm and is the team’s last and most important home game of the season.
Following a tough loss in the season opener against Sporting Kansas City, United has managed to stay undefeated on its home field since March. In fact, DC has 11 wins and four ties at RFK under its belt, thus far. This success has the team well-positioned for its first playoff berth since 2007… Which is why this Saturday’s game is so important; a win or a tie against the Crew guarantees United the opportunity to compete for the MLS Cup title.
If you’re worried that soccer is boring and you won’t see enough offense, don’t be! United averages over two goals per game at RFK and has twice put four past the opposing keeper this season. Whether it’s Maicon Santos’ howitzer left foot (my personal favorite), or Chris Pontius weaving through the defense and punching home the score, you’re sure to see fireworks. And there is plenty of fun to be had before the match as the parking lot opens for tailgaters a few hours before kickoff. Bring your friends, food and beverage of choice, or stop by and eat and drink with one of DC United’s passionate groups, such as the Screaming Eagles.
The math is simple for DC United on Saturday: Win and we’re in.
So when you head over to RFK, be ready to sing, bounce and show your DC pride as the most decorated team in Major League Soccer takes a big step towards bringing another title back to the District.
Tickets for this Saturday’s game are available online.