OK, with the new playoff format, there's a lot of teams to track as we head into the home stretch of the season. I've calculated the 'Magic Number' for DC United to clinch a higher position against each other team. The Magic Number is reduced by the number of points that United earns or the other team loses. (Example, United beats NYRB, that reduces United's number against NYRB by 6 points, 3 won by United, and three dropped by NYRB) When this number reaches 0, it is impossible for the other team to tie or pass United in the standings. Code: Eastern Conference: Team Magic Number New England 22 NYRB 16 KC 10 Columbus 8 Chicago 9 Toronto 3 Western Conference: Team Magic Number Houston 16 FC Dallas 19 Chivas USA 25 Colorado 8 Salt Lake 4 LA 6 To qualify for the playoffs, 5 teams must be eliminated, to qualify for the SS, all 12 teams must be eliminated. The week ahead: Conceivably, two United wins this week would eliminate SLC, LA, and Toronto, and with a little help, either Colorado, and either Chicago or Columbus.