D.C. United came up with a huge win over the New England Revolution Saturday night, putting the team without star Dwayne De Rosario, who is out for the rest of the season with a Grade III sprain of his right MCL, in playoff position, something with which the Black and Red have been relatively unfamiliar in recent years.
In a 2-1 victory, United got goals from Chris Pontius and reserve Lewis Neal after the Revolution got on the board first, a thrilling result Black and Red United's Martin Shatzer credits to manager Ben Olsen:
Would you believe that a player as good as Andy Najar has never made the MLS Playoffs? Chris Pontius is used to spending Thanksgiving home with his family, not in D.C. training. Bill Hamid has become a regular for the U.S. National Team, but he's played in his league's postseason? Perry Kitchen is used to winning national championships, not just watching them.
This is the new core of our team. We don't have a most valuable player anymore. All of these guys are valuable. All of them want to keep playing in November.
In a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution, tonight D.C. United proved that they can win without Dwayne De Rosario. United is more than just one man. And if we are just one man, that man is Ben Olsen, who managed the hell out of this game. Without DeRo, Olsen gave Branko Boskovic the chance to step up, and he did. Then, knowing that Boskovic's one brilliant moment of the match had already expired, Olsen pulled him for a hungry Lewis Neal.
The United have a very real shot to make the playoffs, and Saturday night's win was a massive step toward doing so.