Washington

D.C. United falls just short of MLS playoffs despite 3-1 win

Washington

It was decision day in MLS as various clubs were vying for the final playoff spots, including D.C. United. Hernán Losada's squad needed first to take care of business against Toronto FC and then rely on some help to reach the playoffs. 

It didn't happen. United beat Toronto FC 3-1 on the road with all goals coming in the first half. But D.C. needed CF Montreal to lose or draw with Orlando and New York Red Bulls to lose to Nashville. Only one of those two results held and United has missed the postseason by just one point. 

D.C. United opened the scoring 13 minutes into the match courtesy of Steve Birnbaum. Ola Kamara provided the other two strikes as he pursued MLS' golden boot, but like D.C. United, the 32-year-old fell short. 

Kamara finished tied at 19 goals with Valentín Castellanos, but the New York City FC forward wins the race due to having more assists. Despite leaving Toronto with all three points, D.C. United had to wait on the sideline to hear the finish from Nashville-Red Bulls. 

In the end, New York held on for dear life to get a 1-1 draw and the point that pushed it into the playoffs at 48 points. Montreal did lose to Orlando City, but D.C. needed a win and both results to go its way. Instead it was left out with 47 points to finish eighth in the Eastern Conference. The top seven teams qualify.  

 

D.C. United will only have a few months to rest and improve its squad for next year. The 2022 season kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 26.