MLS Playoffs Eastern Conference Final GameThread: D.C. United Vs. Houston Dynamo (2 of 2)

Bob Levey

It's an elimination match tonight at RFK Stadium. Houston holds an aggregate advantage with a 3-1 score, but United is no stranger to must-win situations this year.

When D.C. United needed to beat the Columbus Crew to clinch a playoff berth, they did. When United needed a point on the road against the Chicago Fire to avoid the play-in game, they got it. When United needed a win over the New York Red Bulls to advance out of the Semifinals, they delivered.

It's happened three times this season. Three times United has faced a must-win situation, and all three times they succeeded.

Tonight's match at RFK Stadium against the Houston Dynamo isn't just a must-win situation though. It's a must-win-by-three-goals situation. And yet the result for D.C. will still be the same.

Game time: 4:00 PM

TV: NBC Sports Network

Projected starting lineup: I think that either Chris Pontius or Dwayne De Rosario will be starting for United tonight. Unfortunately, it sounds like Pontius won't be available, unless Ben Olsen's comments to the media have been intended to mislead the opposition this week. So I have DeRo starting as the withdrawn forward behind Lionard Pajoy, relegating Branko Boskovic to the bench. Lewis Neal will take Pontius' job on the left wing, with Nick DeLeon on the right and Perry Kitchen and Marcelo Saragosa in central midfield. The back line will be unchanged with Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald, and Robbie Russell defending in front of Bill Hamid's goal.

Prediction: Regardless of the final score, I'm predicting that the supporters inside RFK Stadium will be cheering and chanting for their players for well after the final whistle.

What are you drinking? The past three times that United has faced the Dynamo, I've established a rule suggesting that we cannot drink anything orange. Obviously it hasn't translated to results on the field though, so let's change it up. Instead today, the rule will be: DRINK EVERYTHING ORANGE! If you're drinking beer, fuckin garnish it with an orange slice. If you're drinking a light liquor, pour some orange juice in that shit. If you're drinking any other cocktail, I dunno, stir it with a carrot stick or something.

This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.

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