I’ll repeat what I’ve written all month: There is no such thing as a must-win in August. However.....

United could really use a victory tonight against the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium.

DCU is 2-4-1 in the past seven outings and is in a deceivingly close race with the Montreal Impact (four more games played) for the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff slot. United is four points behind the Fire (one extra match) and the Houston Dynamo (two extra entering today).

After tonight, United has a difficult stretch heading into the FIFA fixture break in early September: Saturday at Montreal (9-3-2 at home), Wednesday at RFK against the second-place Red Bulls and Sept. 1 at Real Salt Lake (9-4-1 at home).

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET.

TV: Comcast SportsNet (D.C.), Comcast SportsNet (Chicago), Direct Kick, MLS Live.

DCU: Hamid; Najar, McDonald, Jakovic, Korb; Pontius, Kitchen, Saragosa, DeLeon; De Rosario, Pajoy. Subs: Willis, White, Chabala, King, Salihi, Wolff, Tan.

CHI: Johnson; Anibaba, Friedrich, Berry, Segares; Fernandez, Paladini, Pardo, Pappa; Rolfe, MacDonald. Subs: Nolly, Gargan, Bone, Videira, Nyarko, Alex, Oduro.

Your pregame, in-game and postgame observations are welcome in our comments section.