Thomas Floyd covers D.C. United for The Washington Times.
MLS on Thursday announced the shortlists for its 2012 awards, with D.C. United's Nick DeLeon (Rookie of the Year), Chris Pontius (Comeback Player of the Year) and Ben Olsen (Coach of the Year).
D.C. United have had no problems getting results without Dwayne De Rosario. But without him, Chris Pontius, Brandon McDonald, Marcelo Saragosa, Bill Hamid and Andy Najar? That, it turns out, is too much to overcome.
D.C. United's 2-1 aggregate win over the New York Red Bulls had enough drama in its two matches to last an entire playoff run. But all of that is in the past. Now, United have turned their focus to the Houston Dynamo, the club they visit Sunday (4 p.m., NBCSN) for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final.
D.C. United will be without right back Andy Najar for both legs of their Eastern Conference final series against the Houston Dynamo after MLS on Friday announced the 19-year-old would receive an additional two-game suspension for throwing the ball at referee Jair Marrufo on Saturday.
Mother Nature must have something against D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls. First, the teams swapped playoff dates, switching New York's home game from the first leg to the second to give the organization more time to prepare following Superstorm Sandy. But when Game 2 at Red Bull Arena finally arrived Wednesday, it was postponed after an hourlong delay because of snow brought on by a nor'easter storm pounding the East Coast.
D.C. United have gone through a yearlong odyssey taking the club from a team on the outside looking in at a playoff spot to the third-best record in MLS. After playing to a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Saturday, United must claim victory at Red Bull Arena in tonight's second leg (8 p.m., NBCSN) of the two-game, total-goals series to keep their season alive.
If there was a silver lining to Andy Najar's red card Saturday that knocked the 19-year-old right back out of D.C. United's second leg against the New York Red Bulls, it's that the club has a couple veterans with playoff experience ready to step in.
It was far from pretty, but D.C. United's first playoff game in five years Saturday sure was entertaining. In a match that featured a missed penalty kick, a red card after two rapid-fire cautions, and, most bizarrely, the teams trading own goals four minutes apart, United and the New York Red Bulls will enter Wednesday's second leg tied 1-1.
After five years, the D.C. United faithful Saturday night will finally see playoff soccer again -- four days earlier than expected.
Four days after earning home-field advantage in the MLS playoffs, D.C. United saw it taken away by forces well beyond its control. With the New York metropolitan area still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, MLS on Wednesday announced United and the New York Red Bulls would swap home playoff dates in the two-game, total-goals Eastern Conference semifinal.
Seven months and 18 days after the MLS regular season kicked off, it came to a close Sunday night. As we brace ourselves for the playoffs, let's look back at the 2012 campaign by focusing on its standout players. Here are my first- and second-team all-league selections, as well as the votes I submitted for the various MLS awards.
D.C. United on Saturday will play their first playoff game since 2007 at Red Bull Arena before concluding the two-game, total-goals series against New York on Wednesday at RFK Stadium. Both matches will kick off at 8 p.m.
With crucial seeding at stake, D.C. United on Saturday faced a playoff team for the first time since Dwayne De Rosario went down with a knee injury more than a month ago. And just as they have throughout this unbeaten run without their talisman, United found a way to get the result they needed.
Today's match between D.C. United and the Chicago Fire (4 p.m., NBCSN) was stripped of its do-or-die status when United clinched a playoff berth with last weekend's 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew. But there still is plenty at stake in this one.
D.C. United this year have thrived under adversity. Their 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday to clinch a playoff berth was no different.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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