Midfielder Marcelo Saragosa celebrates his 59th-minute equalizer and first league goal of the season. (Getty Images)


My match report from D.C. United’s 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium — a result that secured passage to the MLS playoffs for the first time in five years.


The Eastern Conference standings with one match left for each of the five playoff-bound clubs:

Sporting Kansas City 60 points (Wednesday vs. Philadelphia)

D.C. United 57 (Saturday at Chicago)

Chicago Fire 56 (Saturday vs. DCU)

New York Red Bulls 54 (Saturday at Philadelphia)

Houston Dynamo 53 (Saturday at Colorado)

United cannot finish lower than fourth place. With a victory or draw at Chicago, it would secure second. The only way it could claim the top seed is if K.C. lost to Philadelphia and United won at Chicago. If United loses and New York wins, the Red Bulls would probably win the first tiebreaker: goals scored (currently 54-52).

With a fourth-place finish, United would host a first-round match Oct. 31 or Nov. 1. A top-three finish earns a first-round bye and a berth in the two-game conference semifinals Nov. 3 or 4. The lower seed hosts the first leg.

Chris Pontius and D.C. United will taste the MLS playoffs after a 5-year drought. (Getty Images)


The video package:


In the fan poll: