We knew this was going to be a big match. With D.C. United having the chance to secure a spot in Major League Soccer's playoffs for the first time in five years, it was obvious a lot was riding on this game. Two hours before the opening kick, the parking lots were already more crowded than they had been all year. The fans were ready, and they turned out in big numbers.
We hoped it would be a great game as well. While the previous five matches had been effective, they hadn't been pretty as D.C. United eked out close, defensive-oriented results against teams with little or no hope of making the postseason. For this match, however, the opponent was a hungry Columbus Crew side that had discovered an offense in the second half of the season and was fighting for its playoff life.
This was a match that revealed D.C. United's character as they fought back twice from one goal deficits. And, when Columbus committed numbers forward in search of the win they had to have, D.C. United got a well-executed counterattack goal that was the product of all the intangibles this team has shown down the home stretch to win the match .
It was truly a special night for D.C. United and its fans. A night that promises so much more in the years to come.
Photos by Tammy Whiting.