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DCU Is Alive

Paging Chris Rolfe, you've got a call on Line 1. It's the entire D.C. United organization. They'd like to thank you for your spectacular performance against New York tonight -- three first-half goals and two second-half assists to lead the Fire to a 5-2 romp over the horri-Bulls at rainy Toyota Park.

What does it mean?

*Chicago wraps up second place in the East and will have that dubious home-field advantage against third-place New England in the two-leg playoffs, starting next Thursday at Foxborough.

*Kansas City locks up a playoff berth and will play Columbus or Houston in the first round.

*And United has an opening to sneak into the postseason by beating the Crew on Sunday afternoon in Columbus (5 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, Direct Kick). A tie is not enough. If D.C. does advance, Columbus or two-time defending champion Houston will be the opponent, beginning next Saturday night at RFK. (If the Wizards lose at New England on Saturday and D.C. beats Columbus the next day, Kansas City will face Houston and United will play Columbus in the playoffs.)

*If DCU ties or loses Sunday, New York will receive the final wild-card berth. RSL will claim the No. 3 seed in the West if it ties or wins at Colorado on Saturday night. A loss hands that slot to the Rapids.

My understanding is that If DCU were to face Houston, the second game would be at Robertson Stadium on Sun., Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. ET. If the Crew were the opponent, Game 2 would be in Columbus on Sat., Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  October 23, 2008; 11:25 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: Morning Kickaround

Comments

Let's do this DC!

Posted by: DC07 | October 23, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I think I'd rather face Columbus in the playoffs.

Why?

Should we play, and make it past, Houston, we'd then have to play AT RSL or Chivas, and I really think RSL will win that series. Why is this bad? United is horrible at altitude.

We've done much better at Chicago and New England this year, who are who we'd face if we made it past Columbus.

Posted by: alecw81 | October 23, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

What a stunning result. Wow--if you're a fan of the Metros/RedBulls--just, wow--how inept they looked.

Don't get me wrong--we've looked very bad at times this season. But at least we've got the excuse of playing another 10-12 extra games and even worse injuries. But to look so inept for such a key game, that's just stunning.

Posted by: JoeW1 | October 23, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Rolfie comes up big in front of a national TV audience. A very impressive performance and, hey, it benefits DC a little too.

Posted by: Modibo | October 23, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

They did it in the single-elimination US Open Cup, so now it's time to continue the trend since they obviously don't like group play. Win and you get to keep playing. Lose or tie and it's an even longer off season.

As good as Chicago looked tonight, NY looked completely inept.

Posted by: sitruc | October 23, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

That 3rd Rolfe goal was sweet...

Posted by: Reignking | October 23, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Rolfe's performance was one of the better single-game showings by an individual in MLS history. Granted, NY aided and abetted him by being simply awful, but you can't blame him for that.

For DC, it's been handed to us on a silver platter. All we have to do is step up and take it.

Posted by: ChestRockwell | October 24, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Who's bringing the Chris Rolfe tifo to Columbus? ... And why the signing in?

Posted by: slfjk | October 24, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

My thought is that I really wish the election cycle wasn't getting in the way of me watching United...

Posted by: sec133row5 | October 24, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

DC United Blackout Ads are out on the post website. Let's not count our chickens...

Posted by: GoUnited | October 24, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

did someone say something about chickens? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njez8hs5O4s
Beware the chicken song...

Posted by: DadRyan | October 24, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Testing...

Posted by: ChestRockwell | October 24, 2008 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Goff,
How is Fred? Who is suspended? Is Martinez hurt? Any likely lineups? Better to have a tough chance than to have it be over.

Posted by: DCU98_BestEver | October 24, 2008 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Supremely bummed I can't make the trip to Columbus with the rest of the Barra. We pretty much have to throw the kitchen sink at them. Score fast, score early and keep the pedal to the metal. I'm not ready to call it a season.

Posted by: CHICO13 | October 24, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley both have to be laughing at this.

Posted by: Longgoneposter | October 24, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

I am not a big Fire fan at all but watched the game - but Rolfe was amazing. I think he was making his case to be included in the next MNT squad.

Posted by: bobfairchild1 | October 24, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

The first goal was one of the best team goals I've seen all season. Beautifully worked.

Posted by: GoUnited | October 24, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Assuming DC can beat Columbus, I would rather see them play C-Bus in the first round than Houston.

Posted by: roadkit | October 24, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Nuthin' to it but to do it!

C'mon DC!!

Posted by: yankiboy | October 24, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Love how the TV crew were extolling the virtues of JPA ("best player in MLS"...), who *is* a fine player...but if memory serves it was JPA's "clearing" header - right to Rolfe - that was settled at the top of the box and ripped into the goal.

Next time, clear outside, not in front of your goal....

Posted by: 22206no1 | October 24, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

come on DC lets pull this off.............. I BET THE DC boys are excited about going to columbus now, its a chance to make the playoffs and have NY eliminated now there is no reason why they wont me motivated.....


Vamos United!!!!!

Posted by: ThE-BaRRa-BrAvA-KiD | October 24, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Rolfe. Also, I'm a bit more appreciative of how nice Toyota Park looks (and sounds) when I don't have a hatred for the Fire.

Nice piece on Louis Crayton by Steinberg this morning. You can have whatever you want… if we win on Sunday.

Posted by: DCUMD | October 24, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

With such awful weather, there was a good crowd last night.

Blanco's touch was just incredible last night...

Posted by: Reignking | October 24, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

every time i watch a chicago home game, i have the same thought; 'hey, isn't that song they're singing from tetris?' i love the tetris song.

Posted by: stairs | October 24, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Stairs, damn you, damn you all to hell.

Posted by: Section117 | October 24, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I never thought I would say "Thanks" to Chris Rolfe, but he had a great game and deserves them. Hope we can do the deed and beat Columbus.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | October 24, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

RE: Tetris song. It's the first time I paid attention to the chant and it sounded like it could be an Eastern European folk song. I don't recognize it from Tetris, but I played Tetris on a Mac SE/30 in the early '90s and all the tunes were from Russian composers.

To the Chicago Fire: Do not let my appreciation of last night's performance mislead you. I still think you are evil incarnate. But man! Chris Rolfe was (to sound like a sportscaster) "in the proverbial zone."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 24, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

So, you're saying there's a chance...

Posted by: creel | October 24, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Chicago wraps up second place in the East and will have that dubious home-field advantage against third-place New England"

"If DCU ties or loses Sunday, New York will receive the final wild-card berth. RSL will claim the No. 3 seed in the West if it ties or wins at Colorado on Saturday night. A loss hands that slot to the Rapids."

And some people don't want a single table?

Posted by: Kev29 | October 24, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Vamos United!!

Posted by: WorldCup | October 24, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Just win baby!

Posted by: bigwave | October 24, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Kev:

single table and our season was over, for all practical purposes, in early August. what fun is that? heck, the whole league was over two weeks ago. that's a lot of meaningless games to play in, don't you think?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | October 24, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

RSL isn't exactly at a high altitude... Rio Tinto stadium is appx 4,450 ft above sea level. CO Rapids' park is appx 5,164 ft (says Wikipedia).

Pachuca, on the other hand... 7,959 ft. :o

Posted by: Dynaformer | October 24, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I don't think there would be a lot of meaningless games. And of course, the schedule would be different to begin with if there was a single table structure.

And I haven't enjoyed this playoff contention run, cause quite frankly it's too confusing to enjoy. You can have a single table and still have a playoff chase. Except you lose the ridiculous conference v wild card qualifier hodge podge.

The biggest advantage of a single table in my opinion, would be the reduced number of regular season matches - leaving more time for international club play and qualifier breaks. That could lead to more important and straightforward implications from the league matches. Fans know that their club needs to shoot for 8th (at least) and they know exactly whom they're competing against.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 24, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

but the biggest disadvantage is that there is really nothing to play for. let's say we get to 17 teams in 2011, right? top three go to CCL (one spot will and should always belong to USOpen Cup champs to give USL a shot) next four go to SuperLiga or whatever follows that. great. First off, SuperLiga is a better prize right now than CCL, since there is more money at stake and frankly it is easier to win. so what are teams playing for? what's the real difference between 8th and 7th? and won't that still leave ten or eleven (depending on US Open Cup results) with little to play for at the end of the season? DC, for instance, having won the Open Cup and been practically eliminated from SS competition in August was basically done, nothing else to play for (since there isn't enough money to make each rank important) Single table works only if there is serious penalty for finishing low, and serious reward for finishing higher. in the EPL, for instance, each spot is worth about 500,000 Pounds. move up two spots the final weekend and you made a million pounds. the difference between 18th (relegation) and 17th (staying up) is the highest one spot financial difference in any league in the world (this year it's about 53 million pounds, the difference between the premiership money of 60 million and the parachute payment of about 7 million) now THAT is incentive. what's the difference between last place and 8th place in MLS under the suggested structure? nothing. heck, what's the difference between last place and second place? the chance to play in a money-losing tournament against teams your fans have never heard of? Is Joe Public or Saprissa ever going to draw?

make the other tournaments worth something real, and you might have a shot. but we're Americans, we like playoffs and we like cups. and more importantly, our TV likes playoffs and cups. it's what we do. it's where the money is. that's not changing anytime soon.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | October 24, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

but the biggest disadvantage is that there is really nothing to play for....

but we're Americans, we like playoffs and we like cups. and more importantly, our TV likes playoffs and cups. it's what we do. it's where the money is. that's not changing anytime soon.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | October 24, 2008 11:49 AM

As you can see in my previous post, I didn't say that we'd eliminate the playoffs. In theory, nothing substantial will change (8 teams in the playoffs, Supporters Shield, Open Cup, CCL, etc). The single table just makes it a lot easier to figure out what's going on and evens the competition league wide. It also balances out the fixtures and doesn't leave clubs with international matches facing as daunting a schedule.

This isn't about being American or an Anglophile - it's all about making sense.

I could also make the argument that a single table actually will work better in an American salary capped sporting environment (parity) than it does in the hundreds of leagues around the world that don't have a cap.

Posted by: Kev29 | October 24, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Kev,

You don't need a balanced schedule for a single table (see Australia) nor do you need single table with a balanced schedule (see Mexico). What you're referring to is SingleTable, the "Way the Rest of the World Does It", brought to you by BigSoccer.com. But if the MLS playoff scenarios make your brain hurt, I imagine you stay away from the NFL like it's radioactive

As for Goff, "Dubious"? What part of "six out of eight" do you not understand? There is a quantifiable advantage to hosting the second leg, which is why seeded teams do it in the elimination stages of the UEFA Champions League. A #2 seed is not THAT much better than a #3 during the regular season.

Stop trying to create problems that don't exist. You sound like Grahame Jones, or worse, a BigSoccer poster...

Posted by: EricB1 | October 24, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I hope you get Houston so Goff will stop dissing MLS "home field advantage." I think 3 losses all season (2 to Mexican teams, 1 to New England) speaks for itself. But maybe he will just have to be there when we hand you your asses.

Posted by: brakkattak | October 24, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I also don't understand why it's so hard to follow the playoff seedings? after the top two teams in each conference it basically is a single table, just look at points and head to heads. not that challenging.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | October 24, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Re: The "Tetris" Song.

That is exactly what it is supposed to be / is called by Section 8. Now, what version it came from (NES?) not sure.

Posted by: mentos15 | October 24, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

To EricB1:

"What you're referring to is SingleTable, the "Way the Rest of the World Does It", brought to you by BigSoccer.com."

Actually, he would be referring to a Single Table "The way we, as Americans, invented it and gave the idea to the English", Brought to you by the National League.

Back when baseball ran things right.

Posted by: mentos15 | October 24, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I hope you get Houston so Goff will stop dissing MLS "home field advantage." I think 3 losses all season (2 to Mexican teams, 1 to New England) speaks for itself. But maybe he will just have to be there when we hand you your asses.

Posted by: brakkattak | October 24, 2008 12:40 PM

brakkattak- Goff is dissing "home field advantage" in saying that it really doesn't give either team much of an advantage in the FIRST ROUND of the playoffs. It's still a home-and-home series. By winning last night, does Chicago really gain much of an advantage in a series against New England?

Posted by: DCUMD | October 24, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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