Saturday, DC United faced off against Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Union. Playing in their second straight home game, part of a 4-game home series, United were eager to pick up points after their disappointing draw with Montreal last week. Unfortunately for United, the best they could manage once again was a single point.
Currently in a race for a playoff spot, United need to be picking up wins and moving up the table. Coming into the game, they were two spots out of a playoff spot, sitting in 8th place. Their position has remained unchanged after the 2-2 draw with the Union.
Taylor Kemp, who scored a great goal in the 16th minute to give United the 1-0 advantage, said afterwards “We’re getting to the point in the season where ties really just aren’t good enough no matter how they come — against good teams, bad teams, home or away, we have to start picking up wins to give ourselves a chance to make the playoffs.”
While the possession and shots are up for United, they are still unable to truly take control of a game. In fact, if it wasn’t for Steve Birnbaum’s miraculous equalizer in the 94th minute however, the squad would’ve been looking at their second loss in three weeks.
Looking ahead, they will now have to find a way to pick up wins against reigning MLS champs Portland Timbers and reigning Supporter’s Shield winners New York Red Bulls. For United, who have the worst home record (4-3-3) in the league, finding a win against either of these teams will be a very daunting task.
Defender Sean Franklin however, doesn’t believe it’s time for panic. “If you look at the standings right now we’re just outside the red line. It’s still pretty tight in the East right now as far as making the playoffs.” It’s true that they only sit two points out of a playoff spot, but for a team whose last win came June 25th, perhaps a two point gap isn’t as surmountable as it seems.
For United, their season is beginning to enter do or die mode. If they don’t find a way to get some victories soon, the offseason might be coming a bit faster than expected.