How D.C. United got to the playoffs: 15W-6D-13L (51 points), 4th place in the East
What's the outlook?: Grim. United has lost 6 of their last 9 league games, with the 2 wins and 1 draw coming against teams that finished the season in 17th, 20th, and 19th place respectively. Even before that, things weren't great: United had a 3 game winning streak in which they fell 2-0 down very early in a home game against a non-playoff team, then did it again, and then won 1-0 in Montreal despite being outshot 25 to 1. United's last credible performances against a playoff team date back to late June's 0-0 draw at TFC and a 2-1 win over the Revolution.
Upcoming opponent: Coincidentally, it's that very same New England Revolution side we just discussed.
How they got here: 14W-8D-12L (50 points), 5th place in the East
Record this season between teams: 1W-1D-0L. United beat the Revs 2-1 on June 21st, and snatched a 1-1 draw against a nine-man New England side on May 23rd.
Why United has the edge: United had the 4th best home record in MLS this year (11W-3D-3L), they've averaged 2.00 goals per game at RFK, and Bill Hamid will be the best player on the field (yes, including Jermaine Jones).
Why New England has the edge: The Revs are fast in transition have a deep pool of versatile attackers to surround Lee Nguyen with, and are coming into Wednesday's game after a feel-good 3-1 win at NYCFC.
Why we'll win MLS Cup: An in-the-zone Hamid is nearly unbeatable. Set pieces are usually huge in the postseason, and United is by at least some accounts the most effective attacking set piece team in MLS. Finally, this team has come back to win 9 different times after conceding the first goal this season. United is basically Jason Voorhees: Ugly, sure, but don't ever think they're dead.
Why we'll fall short: United conceded the first goal in 22 games! That includes 11 different goals within the first 10 minutes of games, and 19 within the first half hour. Throw in an attack that only scored 9 times on the road all season, and you have a group that very few people are going to be talking up.