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Considering the blend of player embraces and fan exultation that engulfed RFK Stadium last weekend, one might get the sense D.C. United's playoff-clinching win over the Columbus Crew marked a mission accomplished, as far as the regular season goes.
Gunfire crackled during the game, with players and referees running for cover.
The Los Angeles Galaxy will play Toronto FC in an all-Major League Soccer pairing in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, and the Seattle Sounders will meet Mexico's Santos Laguna.
In the past six months, D.C. United's once-sprawling route to the postseason has been whittled down to a simple path.
Wind or rain, cold or snow, they'll be ready.
Columbus will host Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Feb. 22, and Cruz Azul will play Santos Laguna in an all-Mexico matchup later that night.