WASHINGTON, D.C. - Despite a 2-1 loss to the MetroStars on Saturday, D.C. United clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Fire's 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew. United is now set to defend their 2004 MLS Cup title, facing the Fire in a home-and-home first round playoff series. The third seeded Fire will host United on October 21 with a return match set for October 30 at RFK Stadium. Tickets for United's home game are available by calling the club at 202-587-5000 or logging onto www.dcunited.com.
"Everyone at D.C. United is excited for the playoff season to begin," said United President & CEO, Kevin Payne. "This is the time of year our team rises to the occasion. We can't wait to begin defense of our MLS championship."
United will travel to Soldier Field in Chicago for the October 21 match. Kick-off is set for 9:00 p.m. ET for the game which will be televised regionally by United's long-time broadcast partner Comcast SportsNet. The defending champions return home Sunday, October 30 for a 4:30 p.m. ET kick-off before a national television audience on espn2.
D.C. United is the most successful team in MLS history, as the team has captured four championships in nine years ('96, '97, '98 & '04). The defending champs completed the 'Return to Glory' last year with a 3-2 defeat of the Kansas City Wizards in MLS Cup. In 2005, the Black-and-Red have been one of the most dangerous and entertaining teams in the League, as they have scored the most goals (56), while maintaining the best goal differential (+21) in MLS.
United has faced the Fire on two previous occasions in the playoffs. After winning the League's first two championships, United fell to the expansion Chicago side in the 1998 MLS Cup final. The two teams met again in 2003 in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, as Chicago won both games of the series by 2-0 scores.
United will wrap up the regular season on Saturday, October 15, versus the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium, in a game set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Tickets remain available by calling the club at 202-587-5000 or logging onto www.dcunited.com.