- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 17, 2009

D.C. United heads into its final two games of the MLS season with two goals in mind: Finish with a winning record and secure a playoff spot.

United (8-8-12, 36 points) meets the Eastern Conference champion Columbus Crew on Saturday at RFK Stadium in the last home contest of the season.

United is coming off three straight league losses at home for the first time in club history. The club is fourth in the Eastern Conference and two points behind New England for the last wild-card playoff berth.

To reach the postseason, United needs to win its last two games - and get some help. Its final regular-season game is Oct. 24 at Kansas City.

United will play Saturday without three key midfielders: Ben Olsen (red card), Santino Quaranta (ruptured plantar plate) and Chris Pontius (yellow-card accumulation). There’s also a question about who will start in goal - recently acquired Steve Cronin or rookie Milos Kocic.

Columbus (13-5-10, 49 points) can claim its second consecutive Supporters’ Shield - awarded to the MLS team with the most points in the regular season - with a victory and a Chivas USA loss or draw against San Jose late Saturday.

“Every time I come back here to play, whether it’s against D.C. or for the national team, it’s great,” said Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers, a former star at Maryland.

Notes - D.C. United will honor the club’s 1999 MLS Cup-winning team at halftime. …

There will be a silent auction of game-worn jerseys Saturday to benefit the club’s charity arm. The auction will take place on the concourse inside the main gate at 6 p.m. …

RFK will host the Volkswagen Junior Masters tournament final at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

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