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D.C. United Earns a Berth in Playoffs

From Associated Press

Hristo Stoitchkov’s header in the 57th minute gave D.C. United a spot in the MLS playoffs with a 1-1 tie against Kansas City in front of 19,797 on Saturday night at Washington.

Bobby Convey’s crossing pass from the left corner sailed over the head of goalkeeper Tony Meola, and Stoitchkov leaped high to head the ball into the open net for a 1-1 tie.

United (10-11-9) is in the playoffs for the first time since winning the MLS Cup in 1999. United will play host to the Chicago Fire on Saturday.

Kansas City (11-10-9) will play Colorado in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs starting Nov. 4.

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Preki, the oldest player in MLS at 40, scored his 12th goal, in the 17th minute. He leads the league with 41 points.

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New England 5, New York/New Jersey 2 -- Rookie Pat Noonan scored three goals in front of 12,492 at Foxboro, Mass., and the Revolution clinched second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Revolution (12-9-9) and the MetroStars (11-10-9) will play Saturday in the first round of a two-match total-goals playoff series.

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Dallas 4, Colorado 3 -- Bobby Rhine, Toni Nhleko and Chad Deering each scored to lift the host Burn (6-19-5) in front of 8,913 at Southlake, Texas.

Dallas set club records for fewest wins and least points in a season.

The Rapids (11-12-7) head to the playoffs with a six-game winless streak.

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Playoff Pairings

The pairings for the conference semifinals of the MLS playoffs:

WESTERN CONFERENCE

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* Galaxy (9-12-9) vs. San Jose (14-7-9)

Game 1: Nov. 1 at Home Depot Center, 7 p.m.

Game 2: Nov. 9 at Spartan Stadium, San Jose, 6 p.m.

* Colorado (11-12-7) vs. Kansas City (11-10-9)

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Game 1: Nov. 4 at Denver, 1 p.m.

Game 2: Nov. 8 at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, 5 p.m.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

* D.C. United (10-11-9) vs. Chicago (15-6-8)

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Game 1: Nov. 1 at RFK Stadium, Washington, 4:30 p.m.

Game 2: Nov. 9 at Soldier Field, Chicago, 10 a.m.

* MetroStars (11-10-9) vs. New England (12-9-9)

Game 1: Nov. 1 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., 2 p.m.

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Game 2: Nov. 9 at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass., 1 p.m.

Winners will be the teams with the most aggregate goals for two games; a tie would be broken with a 30-minute, golden-goal overtime following the second game, to be followed if necessary by a penalty-kick shootout. All times PDT.

CONFERENCE FINALS

Nov. 15 at sites of the higher-seeded teams.

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MLS CUP

Nov. 23 at Home Depot Center, Carson, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7


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