Wednesday's 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers ended D.C. United's hopes of qualifying for the MLS Playoffs and ensured that Saturday's season-closing match against Sporting Kansas City would only be important to the visitors, who can wrap up the number one seed from the Eastern Conference if they match or better the Columbus Crew's result against Chicago.
D.C. United (9-12-12) vs. Sporting Kansas City (12-9-12)
When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 22.
Where: RFK Stadium, Washington D.C.
TV: CSN+ (channel finder is here)
Team News and Tactics
D.C. United: Saturday night's match will be the fourth in 10 days for Ben Olsen's team. On Wednesday night, the head coach said he'd play his "best team possible--that's still walking after this game." I look for Olsen to keep faith with most of the team that started Wednesday night, with some exceptions. For example, Blake Brettschneider might get a run-out instead of Charlie Davies, while one of Clyde Simms or Stephen King might start in place of Dwayne De Rosario, who seemed to be operating at less than 100 percent early in Wednesday's match, though that didn't stop him scoring United's only goal of the game.
Sporting Kansas City: With a significant prize to play for in terms of playoff seeding, expect Peter Vermes to keep faith with most, if not all of the same team that defeated New York 2-0 last weekend. The only possible absence could be Kei Kamara, who is listed as probable with a right ankle contusion. If Kamara can't go, however, Vermes should be able to call on one of C.J. Sapong or Soony Saad to take his place.