Chances are slim for the Washington Diplomats to gain a first-round home game in the North American Soccer League playoffs tentatively scheduled for Aug. 9.
The Diplomats, who lost, 1-0 to Rochester Saturday night, have dropped two consecutive games and fallen behind the Portland Timbers, 144-156, in NASL point standings.
"In order for us to catch them (Portland) now," said Diplomat General Manager John Carbray, "they will have to lose their last two games almost by shutouts and we will have to win our last two by large margins."
Under the NASL point system, teams are awarded six points for each win. Teams also get bonus points for each goal scored (up to three goals), making a total of nine points any team can gain at any one time.
"We still have an outside chance of catching Portland, but if they just split their last two games, we'll be going to the Great Northwest to play" said Carbray.
Standing in the Diplomats' way of sweeping their two remaining games are The Cosmos, who visit RFK Stadium Wednesday for an 8 p.m. game, and Toronto.
The Cosmos are the league's highest scorers, holding a 20-point lead, 193-173, over Vancouver, their closest competitor.
Team officials are hoping The Cosmos will exceed last season's draw of 31,000 spectators. Carbray said "It would be a giant step if we approach last year's attendance.
Toronto, which Washington must play on the road in its last game, Aug. 6, has a mathematical chance of edging the Diplomats out of second place.
If Toronto wins its last two and Washington loses its final two, the Diplomats would enter the playoffs as a wild-card entry.