View From the Mezzanine Let's not sugercoat things.. It's white knuckle time here in D.C.. Chris Webb · October 16, 2003 Yeah, a skeptic would say that last season we were in the playoff race until the last match of the season against the Dallas Burn.. But I'm here to tell you that despite a gallant effort from the boys on East Capitol Street to climb back into the chase, the simple fact was that even if we had won that last match against Dallas (which incidentaly is the single best MLS game I have ever witnessed), we still would have needed help from teams in the Western Conference to get us in the playoffs.. As it happened, we wouldn't have made it anyway based on the results of that weekend.. This season is different in that we have our own destiny in our hands and I'm butt nervous heading into our final two matches against Columbus and Kansas at RFK.. Let's look at the facts here.. In 96' we had a playoff birth sewn up with about 2 games to play and were in no real danger of losing out.. In 97' thru 99' we clinched by late July to mid August and coasted to MLS Cup.. In 2000-2001 we were out of the race by August on both occasions and last season technically went down to the last game but it really was grasping at straws.. This season is really our first full-fledged playoff race that I can think of.. I remember in my story a few weeks ago saying that if we could get 12 points out of our last 9 matches we would make the playoffs.. Well, in one of the only times in my life when I actually got a prediction right, we have gotten 11 out of the 12 points I said we needed.. And we only need one stinkin' lousy point to get us through.. Let's take a look at those last two games.. First up is Columbus which is struggling mightily at the moment.. They absolutely need 3 points against us and 3 points at home to Chicago just to tie us if we fail to win either remaining match.. If they do end up beating us and beating Chicago and we fail to get a point, we would then be tied with 38 points apiece but Columbus would go through to the playoffs due to winning the season series against us.. Not the most likely of scenarios to be sure but it could happen.. As for the match itself, I see Columbus coming at us like Sherman marching through Atlanta.. If we can somehow manage to stem the tide and score on them first, we should be able to get at least a point out of this match.. If we should lose however, then the pressure is all on us to get that final result against a Kansas team that is hitting it's stride once again after a midseason slump that saw them go from first to fourth in a hurry in the Western Conference.. It's white knuckle time baby....... Here goes my predictions for the last two matches: D.C. United 2 Columbus 1 And with all the pressure off and a very possible shot at 2nd place in the standings (provided New England gets a tie and a win in their home and home series against the Mutts), we simply thrash Kansas by a 3-1 score.. Nothing to worry about my friends, it's in the bag. · UnitedMania.com · WUSA Girl's Guide to Soccer Life The Stars of the W... New $13.99! Coaching Kids to Play Soccer Jim San Marco Kids' Book of Soccer Brooks Clark Fever Pitch Nick Hornby Froggy Plays Soccer Jonathan London The Official American Youth Soccer O... American Youth Soc... Tangerine Edward Bloor (Prices May Change) Privacy Information UnitedMania is a Proud Member of the MatchNight News Network COPYRIGHT 2003 UnitedMania.net. All Rights Reserved. This website is an unofficial and independently-operated source of soccer news and information and is not directly affiliated with or endorsed by any team, league or their owners. Logos and other promotional materials are property of their respective owners. For the official team site, visit www.dcunited.