Game Day 8: Columbus Crew v. D.C. United Preview

USA TODAY Sports

The Crew have a chance to get back to winning ways against a banged up D.C. United team struggling in front of goal.

The Crew kick off a three game home stand against D.C. United on Saturday. It's the same team they defeated 2-1 at RFK less than a month ago. Both teams fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since then as goals for each team have been hard to come by.

Crew on Offense: Federico Higuain ran wild in the space that the speedy Dominic Oduro created. Tracked by the overmatched Perry Kitchen, Higuain didn't record a goal or an assist, but it was likely his best game of the season. The Crew have been looking for that type of performance since.

Teams have double, even triple, teamed Higuain to close down the Crew attack and it's been very successful. Higuain gets his touches, but they aren't in dangerous areas. He's not able to run at goal or pick his head up and make a forward pass. D.C. is likely to provide more help to Kitchen to shackle Higuain. Much like D.C. and DeRosario, the Crew are a one man team with Higuain.

His support will need to come from all sides. Ben Speas and Eddie Gaven need to provide better movement into space in hopes of peeling off defenders. Likely starter Dominic Oduro will have to work to hold up the ball rather than leaving that duty to Higuain.

The last key will be what the Crew central midfielders try to do. Both Agustin Viana and Danny O'Rourke show little attacking impetus, but one of them will have to shoulder a more offensive posture in hopes of attracting attention and freeing Higuain.

Crew on Defense: Chris Pontius picked up an injury and didn't make the trip to Columbus. It's the latest problem to hit United's anemic offense. Second year player Nick DeLeon will also be held out and Dwayne DeRosario is still recovering from an early season injury. While the Crew have suffered a goal drought the last three games, D.C. has scored four goals all year.

D.C. United's offensive problems start with their leaders. Pontius tallied 12 goals and DeRosario added seven last year. This year they've combined for zero goals. The offense has been lead by Lionard Pajoy's two goals, but the Colombian has squandered more chances than he's buried.

Ultimately, United will only be able to go as far as DeRosario is able to guide them. Clamping down on him with a double team will force some very inexperienced or less talented pieces to step up and execute. They haven't so far this year.

Final Walkthrough: The D.C. offense doesn't have enough firepower to consistently break down a still solidifying Crew defense. Ultimatly, the result will depend on the space that Higuain gets. He gets just enough.

Crew 2 - 1 United

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Massive Report

You must be a member of Massive Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Massive Report. You should read them.

Join Massive Report

You must be a member of Massive Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Massive Report. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker