WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hristo Stoitchkov's header in the 57th minute
gave D.C. United a spot in the MLS playoffs with a 1-1 tie against
the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night.
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.
The United are in the playoffs for the first time since they won
the MLS Cup in 1999. D.C. (10-11-9) needed at least a tie to secure
the final Eastern Conference spot. They will host the Chicago Fire
Nov. 1 at RFK Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Kansas City (11-10-9) will meet the Colorado Rapids in the first
round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Preki, the oldest player in MLS at age 40, scored his
league-leading 12th goal of the season in the 17th minute off an
assist from Carey Talley to give the Wizards a 1-0 lead.
The Wizards are 0-5-4 in their last eight visits to RFK Stadium
since winning here 4-2 on Aug. 4, 1996.
Preki entered the game with 39 points and a four-point lead over
Los Angeles Galaxy's Carlos Ruiz for the MLS scoring title in the
final weekend of the season.
Preki, the league's all-time scoring leader, leads the MLS with
17 assists this season. He's the only player in the league with at
least 10 goals and 10 assists.
Having won MLS scoring and most valuable player honors in 1997,
Preki could become the first two-time season scoring leader in the
league's eight seasons. If selected as the league's most valuable
player, Preki will be the oldest league MVP in the history of
American professional sports.