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MLS Playoff Push: D.C. Edition

I’ve been prattling off predictions here all week. Most of my guesses will likely be dead wrong. After all, I do not exactly have a great record picking winners. Just read my preseason take on DC United, and you will see that I will sometimes (er, often) miss the boat a little (uh, badly).

I’m definitely no psychic.

But then again, who really is? Well, other than Ms. Cleo, of course.

In my defense, United seemed like the team to beat back then. A lot of people (including me) thought Gallardo would be an upgrade from Gomez. Instead, he’s been repeatedly nicked with injuries and has looked lethargic at times (a lot of times). Emilio has been OK, but not the force he was last year. The only player really still earning his keep is Moreno. That guy is just flat out one of the best players in MLS history.

Plus, the usually stingy defense has been porous. The loss of Perkins hurt DC much more than I expected. Crayton is worse than Wells, so I am still a little confused as to why Soehn lost confidence in Zach. They were .500 in games he started. They are 2-5-2 since.

But despite their poor play, DC is still close to qualifying for the postseason. They are currently only one point behind Dallas and Colorado for the final wild card spot. The fact that they are still in it just proves that mediocrity can be rewarded in MLS. You can be generally crappy and still make the playoffs.

But, DC won’t make the playoffs. They’ll be lucky if they don’t finish dead last in the league, in fact.

Why?

In their last 3 games, they’ve been outscored 2-11. They have not won a game since September 3rd, and they have lost the last six straight including non-league matches.

Now (to add insult to injury), they finish the season with the top three teams in the league (HOU, NER & CMB). And two of those games are away. Sure, those teams will likely not be looking to exert too much energy, but DC has been so offensively impotent lately (it has been approximately 400 minutes since they’ve scored a goal), I doubt they will be able to capitalize on their opponent’s indifference.

In their defense, they have been dealt an ugly hand by MLS, who gave them 7 games against non-league competition in a two month span (not to mention the final two months of the season)? No wonder they look exhausted. They are.

At least after 10/29 they will be able to rest. At least in my opinion.

But then again, I’m no Nostradamus.

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