D.C. United are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point behind Columbus for the conference's final spot in the 2012 MLS playoffs. After having the week off for the international break, D.C. will be back in action on Sept. 15 when they host the New England Revolution.
With seven games left in the regular season D.C. has time to earn one of the five Eastern Conference playoff berths. In the tightly packed conference, D.C. United are just six points out of second place.
Sporting Kansas City still leads the East with 50 points while out west San Jose is atop all of MLS with 53 points. The top five teams from each conference advance to the playoffs. Full standings as of Sept. 10 below.
After falling to Real Salt Lake by a score of 1-0 on Saturday night, the D.C. United now sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and one point out of a playoff spot (41 points, 27 games played). The loss marked the sixth consecutive road loss suffered by the club and allowed the Columbus Crew to leap-frog them in the standings.
Luckily, the United will receive a two week break after concluding a marathon schedule that saw the team participate in five matches over a two week span (1-2-2). They will resume action on Sept. 15 against the New England Revolution.
Listed below are the top-five teams in the Eastern Conference:
"I don’t think the outcome necessarily shows how the game went," he said. "I thought we fought hard. I thought we did all of the things that we talked about. We came out here 0-0 at half and I think even in the first half I had a couple looks, De Rosario had a good look and Rimando makes an unbelievable save. If one of those goes in, the game changes completely."
With the MLS season starting to wind down, United needs to pull together in order to claim a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We just have to stay as a unit, stay together," said defenseman Brandon McDonald. What we’ve been doing on the field has been good but we need to do it for 90 minutes."
Will Johnson's 49th minute header proved to be the only goal of the game as D.C. United's playoff chase continued to be stuck in neutral Saturday night with a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The loss wrapped up a run of five games in less than two weeks for D.C. United, who went 1-2-2 and picked up five points of a possible 15 during that stretch.
The loss also dropped United into the fifth and final playoff spot in the MLS Eastern Conference standings, one point behind the fourth place Columbus Crew, who defeated Montreal 2-1 Saturday and still have a game in hand on the Black-And-Red. United are also one point behind the third place Houston Dynamo, who play the Chicago Fire Sunday night. The sixth-place Fire only trail D.C. United on goal difference and have two games in hand on the Black-And-Red.
Video of Johnson's winning goal is below.
After a two week break for World Cup 2014 qualifying fixtures, D.C. United resume MLS play Saturday, September 15 with a home game against the New England Revolution. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.
After a lengthy lightning delay, D.C. United have had the better of the first half play against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah; however, the two sides remain scoreless at halftime.
United entered Saturday's match shorthanded, having been deprived the services of Andy Najar (abscessed tooth), Hamdi Salihi (strained hamstring), and Branko Boskovic (illness). Then the match itself took a weird turn when severe thunderstorms forced referee Silviu Petrescu to take the sides off the pitch in the fourth minute. The delay lasted 84 minutes and the match resumed at 8:33 local time.
Chris Pontius started the match on the left wing and did well to find space in RSL's defense, creating scoring chances like the ones highlighted below.
D.C. United (12-9-5, 41 points) takes on their first Western Conference opponent since the middle of May when they visit Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night to face Real Salt Lake (13-10-4, 43 points).