Black and Red United Archives for January 2012

A Regular Season to Remember: D.C. United's Top 5 Matches of 2012

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Before D.C. United moves on to a justly earned spot in this season's 2012 Major League Soccer playoffs, let's take a moment to review the top matches of the 2012 regular season. This was a season worth remembering, and these are the games that are the most memorable. The games that defined the season.

Surprise! D.C. United Has A Real Shot At Entering The 2013-2014 CONCACAF Champions League

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Anyone that follows D.C. United knows that the focus during the club's unexpected late-season surge has been getting into the playoffs. Injured superstar and captain? Unfamiliar back four? Journeyman-quality players in starting roles? Irrelevant! This team had a goal in mind, and wasn't taking no for an answer.

D.C. United at Chicago Fire Reax: Pajoy scores, Hamid saves and United avoid playing during Hurricane Sandy

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It's Monday morning, and everything from the Outer Banks to New England is closed and hunkered down for the oncoming storm. But that doesn't mean we can't look at what the media types are saying about D.C. United's 1-1 draw in the Windy City and add our own two cents to the mix. So read on, in between closing all the blinds in your residence and running out into the rain so the dog can go one last time before Sandy swamps us all.

2012 MLS Awards: D.C. United Players Represented Well On Ballot

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The end of the MLS regular season means many things. For some, it means a time for reflection, a time to assess the roster and prepare for next year. D.C. United is all too familiar with that situation. Not this year though. This year, United is among the league's elite, getting set for postseason play.

D.C. United Vs. Chicago Fire: United Secures East's 2nd Place In MLS Playoffs With 1-1 Draw

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Don't let anyone try to tell you that D.C. United is mediocre. Don't listen to any claims about our weak schedule to finish the season. United outplayed the Chicago Fire for the majority of a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park to clinch second place in the MLS Eastern Conference. Its a spot that they earned last night in their seventh straight match without a loss.

GameThread 34: D.C. United Vs. Chicago Fire

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Picture this.

Its 2:00 PM. Players from D.C. United and the Chicago Fire are both arriving at Toyota Park, meandering into the locker room, starting to get dressed, stretching. Both locker rooms have televisions. Both televisions are tuned to NBC. Both sets of players are rooting for the same team.

D.C. United Vs. Chicago Fire: Behind Enemy Lines With Chicago Fire Blog Hot Time In Old Town

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The playoffs are in sight for D.C. United. So to preview what might be the first of three consecutive meetings between these two teams, we chatted with Ryan Sealock of the Chicago Fire blog Hot Time In Old Town.

Previewing The Fire

B&RU: It sounds like Pavel Pardo is on his way towards full health.

Scouting Report: Chicago Fire

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The Chicago Fire are an enigmatic bunch at the moment. This is a team that has lost three of four, including a home game against the Philadelphia Union and a road loss to a short-handed, talent-deficient New England Revolution. On the other hand, this is a team that had won six straight home games before that loss to the Union, five of which were against Eastern Conference foes.

2012 MLS Playoffs: Who Do You Want D.C. United To Face?

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Its quite nice to be in the situation that D.C. United finds itself.

Three of the last four seasons, we spent these weeks sweating with the worry that United would miss out on the playoffs, and ultimately they did. This year is different. This year, rather than debating IF United will make the playoffs, we're debating who we'd like to face in the playoffs.

LEWIS NEAL and double pivots: D.C. United's lineup vs. the Chicago Fire

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While D.C. United's playoff spot is firmly in hand, there is still more for which to play in this Saturday's game against the Chicago Fire. Martin has gone over all the possible permutations, including the ways in which United could get to the CONCACAF Champions League next year. A win also gives United, regardless of Sporting Kansas City's result tonight, home field advantage over all but two team in the league and makes sure that United will be in the semi-final round.

D.C. United Brings Back The Blackout For MLS Playoff Tickets

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With all the talk of D.C. United missing the playoffs each of the previous four seasons, its sometimes too easy to forget that this team actually a long playoff history before that point.

MLS Playoff Scenarios For D.C. United & The Rest Of The East

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There was a lot of talk about last week's match against the Columbus Crew being the most important D.C. United match in five years. Maybe it was, although some definitely disagree.

United got the win to seal a spot in the playoffs, and that's great. But the match this coming Saturday against the Chicago Fire might actually be even bigger.

Filibuster Podcast Episode 12: D.C. United clinch their playoff berth, get set for final regular season match in Chicago

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D.C. United keeps fighting and clawing its way up the table and into the playoffs, and Filibuster - the Black & Red United Podcast is with them every step of the way.

In this week's episode:

  • We use the word "playoffs," a lot.
  • We shout "Lewis Neal," also a lot.

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew: What Soccer Should Be in D.C.!

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View this gallery here.

"In D.C. United and Ben Olsen We Trust; All Others Must Bring Data"

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This year's D.C. United campaign has been remarkable on many levels. But let's talk about the dissatisfaction so many D.C. United fans seem to have with the team, the coach, and certain players, despite facts that point to this having been an unbelievably successful season. Sure, it's any fan's right to have any opinion they want about a team; that's not in question.

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew Reax: Playoffs, baby! Back where we belong.

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With that out of the way, let's see what's being said around the intertubes about D.C. United's playoffs-clinching 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew.

What They're Saying About It

Shatzer: We weren't surprised to see both teams going for the win, with so much at stake in the dying moments of the game and the dying moments of the season.

D.C. United 3-2 Columbus Crew: Late Winner Clinches Return To MLS Playoffs

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When Emilio Renteria entered the match for the Columbus Crew and lined up opposed to Lewis Neal, I was getting pretty darn nervous. I remember pretty clearly the last time these two teams faced off at RFK Stadium. This was the match in which Daniel Woolard suffered his concussion in the 63rd minute, and Neal was forced to come off the bench and slot into Woolard's left back spot.

PLAYOFFS! Share Your Reaction To Lewis Neal's Goal In D.C. United's 3-2 Win Over Columbus Crew

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No analysis here. We'll begin to analyze D.C. United's 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew tomorrow. Right now, I'm too amped up to even think about trying to write any analysis. Right now, all I want to talk about is how excited I am about this team. And perhaps more specifically, how excited I was in the third minute of stoppage time when Lewis Neal scored the gamewinner.

GameThread 33: D.C. United Vs. Columbus Crew

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I don't really have to tell you how much this game means for D.C. United. At the start of the season, Ben Olsen set the playoffs as the goal. At this moment right now, United is just one point away from accomplishing that goal. The Columbus Crew are the only thing in between United and its goal. So let's go run them over.

MLS Playoff Scenarios: D.C. United Clinches Fourth Place With A Win

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We'll all be rooting for D.C. United at RFK Stadium later tonight. Because we all know what it means. A draw for United against the Columbus Crew would clinch a return to the playoffs for the first time in five years for D.C.

But at this point of the season, we can't just be satisfied with a playoff appearance anymore, right?

Scouting Report: Columbus Crew

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Any member of the worldwide Procrastinator's Union - I wanted to join but missed the deadline - knows that a person can find energy and ideas they never knew they had when a deadline approaches. Sure your term paper written during an all-nighter might end up being borderline nonsense, and your thrown-together-in-the-car presentation at work might go down like a lead balloon, but one thing is certain: You will work yourself into a frenzy you simply can't reproduce in less stressful conditions.

D.C. United to play friendlies in Indonesia?

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Even though the current season is by no means over, parts of the D.C. United organization must always be looking towards the offseason and next year. And it is in that vein that we see a paper out of Indonesia reporting that United and the reigning Indonesian Super League Champions, Sriwijaya FC, are negotiating a visit by the Black and Red.

D.C. United Vs. Columbus Crew: This Formation That Could Be A Recipe For Victory

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Unfortunately I wasn't able to participate in this week's episode of Filibuster due to a certain debt that had to paid to America's Hat, but I was sure to listen, and you should too. Because we learned something important from our guest, Patrick Guldan of Massive Report. In helping us preview the huge upcoming match between D.

Filibuster Podcast Episode 11: The U.S.A. Makes the World Cup Qualifying Finals, and D.C. United Looks Ahead to the Columbus Crew

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Your favorite independent D.C. United podcast is back for the second straight week, and we've got a great show for you this week. In the first half of the show, we look at the U.S. Men's National Team and their World Cup Qualifying wins over Antigua & Barbuda and over Guatemala. The wins, of course, secured the U.

Soony Silooy named Director of Youth Development

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By now, you may have heard that assistant coach Sonny Silooy has been named as the Director of Youth Development for D.C. United, with a contract running through the end of 2014. If you do not remember his credentials, Silooy played for both Ajax and the Dutch national team, winning 6 Eredivisie titles and earning 25 international caps.

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying 2014: How The Hexagonal Will Affect D.C. United

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If you've been following the USMNT as closely as you have, then you surely already know that the Americans clinched a spot in the next round of CONCACAF World Cup 2014 Qualifying last night with an important 3-1 win over Guatemala. But you might not know what is happening around the rest of CONCACAF.

Can both Branko Boskovic and Hamdi Salihi ever start for D.C. United?

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After what seems like an eternity, D.C. United is back in action this weekend in a critical game against the Columbus Crew. Just like the United States men's national team, a win or a draw means that United is into the next round; a loss means that everything stays up in the air and depends on the results of those around us.

Calling All Fans: Save Money on D.C. United Gear, Head to RFK on Saturday

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As the last home game of the season approaches for D.C. United, it is time for fans to get ready to turn out and be counted among those at RFK Stadium cheering the Black-and-Red to their first playoff appearance in five years. Fortunately, D.C. United has put themselves in a great position down the stretch to secure that playoff spot.

D.C. United Forward Lionard Pajoy Has His Detractors, But Why?

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Since arriving at D.C. United via a trade with the Philadelphia Union, Lionard Pajoy has started all 10 games that the team has played. That's a stat that not even Chris Pontius can claim. In his time with United, Pajoy has scored two goals and assisted on another. That's a decent strike rate for the Columbian forward, especially when you consider that this team is built around the attacking strength of the midfield.

Michael Parkhurst or Carlos Bocanegra? USMNT lineup vs. Guatemala

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While the 2-1 victory over Antigua and Barbuda was as uninspiring as a victory can be, the United States faces another match on Tuesday with even less personnel. Fabian Johnson is still out with the flu, Landon Donovan and Brek Shea are still injured, and Edgar Castillo is still "out for two weeks" (even though he played for Xolos over the weekend).

D.C. United Reserve League Highlights: Trialist Yann Ekra Assists To Stephen King

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United's win over the Philadelphia Union on Friday featured some really impressive play by young Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto on the wing.

Midfielder Wellington Paeckart, a.k.a. Pecka, On Trial With D.C. United

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Yesterday's 1-0 reserve league win over the Philadelphia Union brought some good news along with it for D.C. United fans: Emiliano Dudar and goalscorer Stephen King both went 90 minutes as they come back from injury, while Maicon Santos played his second straight full 90 in a week, indicating that the toe injury he's been fighting through for months may be fully behind him.

Vote For The 2012 D.C. United Goal Of The Year

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D.C. United has scored more goals in the 2012 season than all but three other teams in MLS. Some of them have been a bit lucky. Some have been opportunistic. But some have been very attractive. Some have been game-winners. Some have come at huge moments, or in huge games.

You can vote for your favorite Goal of the Year on dcunited.

Contest: Win A Chris Pontius Autographed Adidas Cleat For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Its been five years since D.C. United has reached the MLS Playoffs, which is five years too many for my taste. United has the chance to right that wrong next Saturday at RFK Stadium against the Columbus Crew.

Obviously a lot has changed since the last time United was participating in playoff soccer back in 2007.

USA Vs. Antigua & Barbuda: TV Options, Time, GameThread

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The U.S. Soccer team will be visiting Antigua & Barbuda today, but not for a vacation, and not for a celebration. The USA suddenly finds itself in the unexpected position of needing a result on the road to remain in position to move on to the next round of CONCACAF qualifying for World Cup 2014.

Filibuster Podcast Episode 10: D.C. United Winning in Toronto, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup Qualifiers, Ryan Rosenblatt

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We're back (again)! With a new recording schedule and a new format, Filibuster - the Black & Red United Podcast is once again ready for mass consumption. We've found that this episode pairs nicely with everything from PBR to Chimay, white zinfandel to pinot noir, moonshine to cognac. And we actually have some of that last one in this episode.

Personnel versus formations: United States lineup versus Antigua and Barbuda

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Even though there is no D.C. United game this weekend, you are not spared your regular Wednesday lineup prediction post. With the United States Men's National Team playing this Friday against Antigua and Barbuda and then again on Tuesday against Guatemala, we turn our lens to Juergen Klinsmann and his lineup choices.

MLS Playoff Odds: D.C. United Has 98% Chance Of Making Playoffs

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Just like you, I've witnessed D.C. United missing the MLS playoffs on the last week of the season three of the past four years (other than the Year That Shall Not Be Mentioned). And after unimpressive results against weaker opponents, its understandable why some fans might be seriously concerned that the same might happen again in 2012.

Top 5 Truths We've Learned about D.C. United over the Last 5 Matches

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On Tuesday, Sep. 11, D.C. United fans everywhere held their breath as the first tweet came in from Canadian media outlets about Dwayne De Rosario's injury in the opening minutes of Canada's World Cup Qualifier in Panama. In the days to follow, D.C. United's fears were realized when it was announced that DeRo would almost certainly be out for the remainder of the season.

D.C. United at Toronto FC Reax: Theives in Broad Daylight Keep D.C. on Playoff Track

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Well, that was more difficult than it should have been, wasn't it? The double-pivot managed yet again to generate next to nothing and yet bring home a needed result, absolutely flabbergasting many and rendering the rest of us at least conflicted. But we'll get more into that in a bit.

What They're Saying About It

Webb: The game's only goal came about in the 88th minute when former Maryland midfielder Jeremy Hall made a hash of a routine midfield clearance that set Maicon Santos down the right sideline.

MLS Playoff Odds: D.C. United Magic Number Is 2 After Columbus Crew Draw With Sporting Kansas City

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It couldn't have been that easy, could it?

As fans of D.C. United for the last five years, we've learned that nothing will be handed to us. We can't just sit back and watch other teams falter while we stroll into the playoffs despite some underwhelming performances.

United could have essentially clinched a playoff berth yesterday if Sporting Kansas City had held on for a win against the Columbus Crew.

Scoreboard Watcher: Join Us For Columbus Crew Vs. Sporting Kansas City

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Last night's unimpressive win for D.C. United over Toronto FC went a long towards assuring that United will return to the MLS playoffs for the first time in five seasons. United now only needs three points the rest of the way to clinch.

But that doesn't mean that we won't be watching the other scores anyway.

MLS Playoff Odds: D.C. United Magic Number Down To 3 After Houston Dynamo Draw

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All along we've been watching the results of the Columbus Crew, actively rooting against the men in yellow to drop points and push D.C. United farther into the MLS playoff picture. And that hasn't changed. United's magic number is down to FOUR today when compared to the Crew. If Sporting Kansas City earns a win in Columbus this afternoon, United's return to the MLS playoffs would be all but guaranteed.

D.C. United 1-0 Toronto FC: Hamdi Salihi's Late Goal Ends Ugly Performance

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Let's discuss this match in two parts.

Would you like the good news first, or the bad news?

Good news? Okay. Then let's call this a gritty win. A win on the road. A win that was secured by a great defensive effort from Bill Hamid, Dejan Jakovic, and Brandon McDonald. A win that extended D.

GameThread 32: D.C. United Vs. Toronto FC

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This is the first must-win match of the 2012 season for D.C. United. A win would put the team six points clear of the playoff line, and one win away from essentially clinching a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. A win would guarantee that the Columbus Crew could do no better than tie United for the final playoff spot, with D.

Behind Enemy Lines With Toronto FC Blog Waking The Red

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D.C. United has a must-win match tomorrow against Toronto FC. To get you ready, we traded three questions with SB Nation's TFC blog Waking The Red.

B&RU: From CCL competitors to last place in MLS... When did the Toronto FC season go off course?

WTR: Before it even got started really.

Jack Evans on the D.C. United Stadium Situation

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Final negotiations are at hand said a D.C. Councilman; could a stadium "framework" come by the end of the year?

Scouting Report: Toronto FC

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Let's just get this out of the way: Toronto FC is a bad soccer team. They're dead last in MLS. In fact, they're so far behind that they would need to take two wins and a draw from their final three matches just to get into 18th (while also needing Chivas USA to lose their remaining games).

Things are bad on the banks of Lake Ontario.

D.C. United Salary Information: Raphael Augusto's Salary Revealed

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The latest round of MLS player salaries have been revealed by the Player's Union.

D.C. United has made very few changes since the last update. The only newcomer to the league on United's payroll is Brazilian midfielder Raphael Augusto, who is making a paltry $44,000 while on loan this season.

No Carolina Challenge Cup for D.C. United in 2013

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Though there are plenty of things to focus on for the 2012 season, there is news about the 2013 preseason. D.C. United has decided to move its training camp to Orlando, Florida after spending last year in Arizona. While there, United will play in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic against five other MLS teams, Sporting Kansas City included.

Could Hamdi Salihi Start Against Toronto FC?

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This is a game that D.C. United needs to win. It is not a must win, as they can still make the playoffs without it; dropping points, however, would lead to talk of backing into the playoffs rather than the team controlling its own destiny. More than that, even, there is still a chance that United could catch the New York Red Bulls or the Chicago Fire and get out of the play-in round.

D.C. United Player Of The Month: September 2012

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Past winners:
August: Andy Najar
June: Chris Pontius
May: Dwayne De Rosario
April: Emiliano Dudar
March: Nick DeLeon

And now let's dig into the nominees for the D.C. United player of the month for September 2012.

AMT: September was a tough month for D.

Top 5 Self-Inflicted Mistakes for D.C. United to Avoid in Final Road Matches

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Conventional wisdom in Major League Soccer says that to be a successful team, you need to get wins at home and draws on the road. For a host of reasons that almost every team struggles to crack, getting a win on the road in MLS is extremely difficult. So, how have Eastern Conference teams done getting "draws on the road" this season (that is, have teams earned at least 17 points from their away matches)?

With Tie Against Portland Timbers, D.C. United's Magic Number Is Down To 7

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Earning just a draw against the Portland Timbers on Saturday night didn't feel all that great to D.C. United or its fans. United failed to generate much pressure on the opponents' goal, aside from a penalty kick. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't still a good result. Because even though we watched as the Columbus Crew gained ground in the MLS standings, the magic number for United is now down to SEVEN (points won by D.

Playoff Odds and Magic Numbers for D.C. United to return to the MLS playoffs

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Can D.C. United continue to take advantage of its favorable schedule to force a return to the playoffs for the first time in five years? We hope so. And this analysis says they will.

With only four matches left in the 2012 MLS regular season, D.C. United sit tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with four games remaining.

D.C. United vs. Portland Timbers Reax, Game 31: A result is a result

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D.C. United got one point in their race to the MLS playoffs this weekend, grinding out a 1-1 draw against the Western Conference cellar-dwelling Portland Timbers. Despite holding a lead late-on, the Black-and-Red couldn't finish out the win, and Portland equalized through Bright Dike. Nevertheless, United are now one point closer to securing a playoff berth for the first time since their 2007 Supporters' Shield-winning campaign.

Small but hearty group of United supporters make the trek to Portland

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A group of D.C. United fans made the cross-country trip to Portland for last weekend's game against the Timbers. They are heroes, and we talk about it.