for this game

SKC, DCU meet at RFK Stadium

Oct 2, 2014 - 9:02 PM Washington, D.C. ( - Sporting Kansas City will head to RFK Stadium on Friday to meet D.C. United in a crucial Eastern Conference clash.

D.C. enters the weekend atop the East with 51 points from 30 games, six points better than Sporting.

United needs only a point from Friday's match to seal a postseason berth, but it can also clinch with a win or draw from the Los Angeles Galaxy in their meeting with Toronto FC on Saturday.

"K.C. is doing well to keep pressure on us, New England is coming hard and fast. We want the No. 1 spot and we're going to keep pushing for it," said DCU goalkeeper Bill Hamid. "Now the goal is to get as many points as possible, even if we go on the road - we have to get one point, we have to lock it down. We want to keep climbing the ladder so we can clinch that No. 1 spot."

United has won each of its last five league contests on home soil, most recently easing past the Philadelphia Union in a 1-0 victory. But even with a sustained run of good form, DCU head coach Ben Olsen sees room for improvement.

"At times I still think we can manage the game a little better," said Olsen. "It's a good and bad thing at times - we have guys that are just so hungry and can score goals and have the ability to do it and it becomes a little bit of a back and forth. But I can't say enough about a group in general, the way they've handled the last two months."

Sporting, meanwhile, has managed just one league win from its last six outings. Things appeared to be heading in the right direction after a 4-0 demolition of Chivas USA on Sept. 12, but SKC was unable to keep it going as the club stumbled in a 3-2 home loss to the New England Revolution last time out.

According to Peter Vermes, the club has simply not gotten the rub of the green in terms of the final results. But the SKC head coach believes that there is reason for optimism as the postseason nears.

"I don't think I've ever said this to them before, but I said if you play the way you play tonight - if we put the goals aside - it's not that you're going to be competitive in this league, but you're going to win a lot and you're going to win often," Vermes said after the loss to New England. "It's extremely painful for the guys to walk out of here with nothing, but when you look at the long term and play three games in nine days with the intensity that we played with, it's a good sign for the future."

Not only will Sporting be out to inch closer to the playoffs on Friday, but the club will also be looking to avenge some poor results against D.C. from earlier this season.

United won both of the regular season meetings between the two sides this season, defeating Kansas City, 1-0, at RFK on May 31 before cruising to a shock 3-0 victory at Sporting Park on Aug. 23.