Red-hot Chivas USA battles DCU at RFK

Washington, DC ( - Chivas USA will continue its push for a playoff spot on Sunday when the Goats visit RFK Stadium to battle Eastern Conference power D.C. United.

Chivas USA is in the midst of its best run of form of the season, heading into Sunday looking for a fifth consecutive victory in league play. A win for the Goats could pull the level with fifth-place FC Dallas, depending on the outcome of Saturday's FCD-New England tilt.

The Goats put in an excellent performance last time out, earning a comfortable 3-1 win over West rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Chivas fell behind in the 27th minute through a goal from defender Carlyle Mitchell, who got on the end of Pedro Morales corner kick and nodded it home, but the visitors rallied for three goals in the second half to come away winners.

The Goats leveled proceedings two minutes into the second half when Augustin Pelletieri got on the end of a Rosales corner kick whipped in from the left side.

Erick Torres was spot on with his second header in the 81st minute to beat Ousted once again and claim the 2-1 lead for the visitors, and forward Leandro Barrera put the result away in stoppage time with a long-range goal.

The 'Caps were caught in transition without a 'keeper in goal. David Ousted was moved into the opposing box on a last-minute corner kick and left his net exposed, as the second-half sub capped off the 3-1 result.

"They went ahead through set pieces, and that is something that we were doing very well, but we didn't lose our composure," said head coach Wilmer Cabrera after the game. "In the second half we tried to adjust with some movements, to move the ball a little bit wider and tried to move the ball a little bit quicker, and we found the first goal on set pieces too really quick, that helped us a lot.

"Then we tried to move some fresh legs with some guys that came in very well and helped the guys, because no matter what, when you play three games in one week you carry on a little bit of heavy legs, but the guys did a very good job, they kept composure. We took advantage of the possibilities and it was good to score three goals. It's important to continue believing in what we are doing."

D.C. United, meanwhile, are coming off a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes last Friday at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Eddie Johnson scored from the penalty spot and Luis Silva added another from open play in the first half as United overcame Chris Wondolowski's sixth goal of the season for a 2-1 victory Friday night.

The visitors went up in the 12th minute with a little help from 'Quakes right back Brandon Barklage, who deflected Chris Rolfe's shot from the edge of San Jose's penalty area. He did so with an extended left arm, however, drawing an immediate whistle from referee Jair Marrufo.

Johnson converted the spot kick to give D.C. the early lead.

Silva would create his own chance in the 25th minute, making a sharp near-post run as Rolfe rolled a cross in from the left wing. Silva beat San Jose defender Clarence Goodson to the ball, and his sliding touch at the edge of the six-yard box left goalkeeper Jon Busch no chance at the far post.

The Quakes pulled one back in the 39th minute through Wondolowski, but the hosts could never find the equalizer.

"He worked very hard in the first half," United head coach Ben Olsen said of Silva's effort. "We asked him to be more involved. In the last two games, he just wasn't touching the ball enough, and to get the ball, you need to work hard, pick up second balls, be constantly on the move, and he did a better job of that tonight. Obviously, he capped it off with a very good goal."