With eight regular season matches left in the current MLS season, D.C. United will have to make the most of every game and can not afford to lose any more ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
D.C. United currently are two points behind New York who sits in the final wild card playoff spot and a distant five points behind the last playoff team in the East, Philadelphia. United will finish the season with five home games and 3 road matches. Needing to be as consistent as possible (a problem this season) the Black and Red seemingly can not afford to miss out on any points for the rest of the season if they are to make their way into the final teams advancing to the MLS post season.
Should United at least tie each of their remaining games they could collect 5 points but with games against Philadelphia, Columbus, Real Salt Lake, and Kansas City - all of whom would make the playoffs if the season where to end today - D.C. must find a consistency they have lacked most of the season.
Head Coach Ben Olsen will surely be looking at the remaining eight games as a true measure of what this team has become since trading for Dwayne De Rosario (6 goals/11 games). The injuries are mounting at the wrong time for United who are currently without Pontious - tibia fracture, Zayner - knee sprain, Hamid - hamstring, Jakovic - hamstring, Quaranta - quad, Cronin - shoulder, Boskovic -season with ACL.
Luckily for D.C. they are facing Chivas USA who they just beat 3-0 on the road in L.A. ten days ago. The toughest test for United may be when they travel to Philadelphia to face the Union. The playoff picture should be much clearer as October begins and if United can win two of its next three and collect at least 6 points they may be in a good position to finish out the season. A little luck on the injury front and a return of Bill Hamid would be a great boost as well.
Our prediction: United go 2-4-2 and miss the playoffs this season.