With an important road win late last night in Los Angeles, D.C. United has moved into the final playoff position, and third place in the Eastern Conference based on points per game. 3-0 against Chivas USA was the result, and it was the result they needed.
This looked like a game between a team made up of legitimate attacking superstars versus a team made up completely of decent role players. A group of professionals versus the rec league team that plays at the high school down the street (which I think is actually where Chivas found Simon Elliot, and maybe where they should send Ben Zemanski).
That's exactly the opposite of what we were saying after the previous match against Sporting Kansas City. We were worried that United didn't look like a playoff team. That week they didn't. This week they did.
And yet at the same time that we all gain confidence that United will make the playoffs, we lose a bit of confidence that they will go very far. Because they'll have to do it now without one of their best.
Just when Ben Olsen outsmarted fellow young up-and-comer Robin Frasier by finding a forward pairing with the lethal combination of being good at both setting up goals and good at scoring them, one of the forwards has fallen. The Chris Pontius injury is sure to hold D.C. back in the playoff push and beyond.
The re-re-emergence of Charlie Davies though is a thrilling development. I favorited a tweet from @Bartlett84 just before kickoff. It went like this:
If Davies gets hot, we get our trophy back. Book it.
Well he's hot. So let's go get it.
Full recap here. Player ratings later.