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D.C. United Chris Pontius (13) hangs his head after goalkeeper Bill Hamid (28) gave up a goal against the New York Red Bulls during the second half of an MLS playoff soccer match, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

D.C. United ponders strategy with season on brink

It's the same situation United dealt with during its last postseason run in 2012, when a 3-1 loss in Houston left the team with a balancing act for the second match: Should it rush to erase the gap or first make sure the deficit didn't grow?

D.C. United's Bobby Boswell in action in the first period against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Luis Silva's goal in the 10th minute was enough to lift United to a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at RFK Stadium. (Pete Marovich for the Washington Times)

D.C. United leans on MLS Cup veterans as playoffs begin

United's postseason kicks off Sunday in the Eastern Conference semifinals when the club travels to face the winner of Thursday's knockout-round match between the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City.

Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis (11) goes up for a header against D.C. United midfielder/defender Perry Kitchen (23) during the first half of an MLS soccer match at BBVA Compass Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Karen Warren)

D.C. United has to-do list as MLS playoffs near

As United (16-9-7) prepared for Saturday's match against Chicago (5-9-18) at RFK Stadium, the message was clear: These final two matches are about maintaining momentum.

D.C. United fans tailgate before the game at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Luis Silva's goal in the 10th minute was enough to lift United to a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at RFK Stadium. (Pete Marovich for the Washington Times)

For first-place D.C. United, fight for relevance hinges on new stadium

"We are fighting against the Skins and the Nats and the Caps and the Wizards, and movies — we're fighting for every entertainment dollar," said United chief operating officer Tom Hunt. "So if we're going to go out into the community and speak, we need to know what we stand for and what we're going to say to people. What's going to resonate?"

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid (28) in action during the first half of an MLS soccer match against the New York Red Bulls, at RFK Stadium, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Bill Hamid, D.C. United blank Philadelphia

Associated Press

United (16-9-6) snapped a three-game winless streak and beat Philadelphia for the second time in two matches this season, keeping the Union in seventh place in the East — two points shy of a playoff spot.

Seattle Sounders' Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, right, and D.C. United's Chris Pontius, left, vie for a header in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, July 3, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Chris Pontius healthy just in time for D.C. United stretch run

A dynamic attacking presence from the flank or up top, Pontius logged eight minutes in a loss to New York last week before playing 23 minutes Tuesday. Going into Saturday's trip to face the Chicago Fire (5-7-15), he feels he's ready to potentially push 60 minutes.

Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan celebrates after scoring a goal on a penalty kick, next to D.C. United's Bobby Boswell during the second half of an MLS soccer match Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, in Carson, Calif. The Galaxy won 4-1. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Landon Donovan, Galaxy rout D.C. United

Associated Press

Los Angeles (12-5-7) won its third straight game for the first time this season, while D.C. United (13-8-4) lost for the first time in three matches.

**FILE** D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen looks on from the bench before an MLS soccer game against the New England Revolution, Saturday, July 27, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Luis Silva scores twice as D.C. United routs Rapids

Associated Press

United (12-7-4) opened the scoring in the 11th minute. Taylor Kemp sent a perfect through-ball to Silva, who faked Drew Moor to the ground and chipped his shot over Clint Irwin for the early lead.