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SOCCER

Basement battle at StubHub as D.C. squares off with Chivas

It has certainly been a long season for both D.C. United and Chivas USA, and the two sides will square off on Sunday at the StubHub Center will both looking to claim a rare three points.

United has languished on the bottom of the Eastern Conference for much of the season, while Chivas has sunk to the basement in the West after a promising first month.

And while wins have been few and far between for the two teams, both are coming off of frustrating results last time out.

United's Dwayne De Rosario failed to convert a penalty kick in the 73rd minute against Red Bull New York that would have leveled the match as New York goalkeeper Luis Robles preserved the 2-1 win with a big save.

Chivas, meanwhile, sustained a 1-0 defeat at Seattle on Wednesday and felt a bit let down by the officiating as a key call late in the match went against the Goats.

"When teams are fighting like we're fighting, the calls that go against us maybe have a little bit more impact," Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said after the defeat. "Sometimes for us, our games come down to one or two plays. If we miss out on something or something goes against us, it can really affect the outcome of the game."

That result comes after a 2-2 draw at Vancouver that saw Chivas squander a two-goal lead and concede the equalizer in stoppage time.

Chivas certainly has no visions of making the playoffs this season, but three points against United on Sunday would give them something more to build on with an eye toward next season.

Ben Olsen's side is also looking for positives as United comes into the game with just one point from its last four fixtures.

Olsen will also be without De Rosario, Dejan Jakovic and Kyle Porter because of international duty.

A loss or draw against Chivas would officially eliminate D.C. from playoff contention, but as midfielder Perry Kitchen said, the team's U.S. Open Cup final against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1 is really what the rest of this season is about.

"Ultimately we have a championship game coming up that we are trying to prepare for so, all these games leading up to it are important," Kitchen said. "As much as it stinks that nothing is going our way in the league, we just have to stay positive and try to figure it out."