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D.C. United secure playoff spot after scoreless draw vs. Sporting KC

D.C. United vs. Sporting KC

Photo by Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports



It may not have been pretty, but D.C. United used a goal-less draw to clinch a spot in the playoffs less than a year after finishing with just three wins.

Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United were stuck in stalemate on Friday in front of 19,308 rain-soaked fans at RFK Stadium, a result that secured the home team a spot in the postseason.

Goalkeepers Bill Hamid and Andy Gruenebaum were rarely tested through 90 minutes, but stepped up when called upon to help their respective teams pick up a point in a tight Eastern Conference race.

The result means that D.C. United (15-9-7, 52 points) remain atop the Eastern Conference with three games left to play. Sporting KC (13-11-7, 46 points) jump the New England Revolution temporarily for second place.

The contest was a physical struggle in wet conditions as both teams looked to get ahead early. United nearly did so in the 28th minute, but Fabian Espindola’s shot was parried away by Gruenebaum, who got the nod in goal over Eric Kronberg.

Sporting KC were in and around goal for much of the evening as well, but their best chance didn’t come until the 76th minute. Seth Sinovic played an excellent diagonal ball to Dom Dwyer, who headed back into C.J. Sapong for a nodded attempt on frame that Hamid easily swallowed.

D.C. United did not have a clear look on goal like that in the 53rd minute, but they felt they were hard done-by after Chris Pontius rose up for a ball in the penalty area and was clipped by Igor Juliao. No call was made, however, and D.C. was forced to play on.

D.C. United could not find the breakthrough, but held on to earn a postseason berth with three games remaining in the regular season.

They’ll be back in action in nine days with a match in Houston against the Dynamo.

Sporting KC, who inched closer to securing a spot in the postseason themselves with the scoreless draw, will now turn their attention to a home match vs. the Chicago Fire next Friday.


    • Worst to First has more to do with the additions of Arnoud, Espindola, Boswell, Rolf & Franklin than it does EJ….but EJ has helped.

      • That and Hamid is having the career season that has promised when he first hit the scene. He’ll most likely leave MLS in a few years.

      • watching him almost every game, i really don’t think hamid’s improved all that much from last year–which is to say, he was already this good last year.

        goalkeepers’ stats are always going to be dependent on the defense in front of them. dc’s defense is hugely improved this season, and hamid is getting the high praise he should’ve been getting for the last couple seasons.

      • I think his decision-making has improved a bit. He also seems to have cut down on the mental errors that he would make on occasion last season poor defense aside.

      • He doesn’t have to organize the back four as much as he tried to do last season. He trusts the vets like Franklin and Boswell to handle so all he has to do is produce those amazing point blank reflex saves.

      • kitchen is one i’m worried about losing; he’s at that point in his career where’s he’s probably thinking about the next step up.

      • Kitchen is having better than a great year. I think there are better D-mids in MLS (not a lot, but a few). But he may be the best at anticipating play. And this 0-0 result against SKC is very much a function of the impact that Kitchen has on the attack as well.

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