The Washington Post

D.C. United, Red Bulls will try again

(By Tony Quinn)

In my story from snowy Red Bull Arena about D.C. United’s postponed playoff match against New York, MLS explains the decision while the coaches react with differing views.

The teams will try again Thursday at 7:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network will provide coverage.

Game-time weather outlook: 39 degrees, 14-mph wind, no precipitation.

The postponement will have a ripple effect on the Eastern Conference finals: Slated to start Saturday, they will now begin Sunday with Houston hosting DCU or New York in the first leg.

While United and New York were stuck in the snow, the top seeds in both conferences crashed out of the playoffs: Sporting Kansas City defeated the Dynamo 1-0 but lost on two-game aggregate, 2-1, and the Los Angeles Galaxy went to Supporters’ Shield winner San Jose and overcame a first-game loss to win the match, 3-1, and the series, 3-2.

Those results offered both good and bad news for United.

The good news: United has the most regular season points of the remaining playoff clubs and moves into pole position to host MLS Cup.

The bad news: United would need to reach MLS Cup in order to qualify for the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.

Entering the playoffs, United (third-most points in the league) required either San Jose or Kansas City to secure an MLS Cup slot in order to clinch a berth. The Earthquakes, as Supporters’ Shield winners, and Sporting, the U.S. Open Cup champion, had already sealed CONCACAF berths. The last two positions go to the MLS Cup finalists. Had either San Jose or Kansas City made it, the next best team during the regular season would, by default, move to the top of the list. With both eliminated, the last two Champions League berths will be awarded to the Dec. 1 MLS Cup participants.

Video of United supporters at Red Bull Arena:

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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