When the 2018 campaign began, few predicted this impressive start from Columbus Crew SC.
On Saturday night, head coach Gregg Berhalter and his squad look to extend its unbeaten streak to four consecutive games this season. Standing in the team’s way is D.C. United and its tenured head coach Ben Olsen. The Black & Red experienced a forgettable 2017 season and look to get back on track this season.
D.C. are out of the gates slowly in 2018, but with talent like Yamil Asad, Darren Mattocks, and David Ousted, it’s only a matter of time before the Black & Red turn things around.
90’+ Santos fires a dangers shot from the top of the penalty box. Ousted saves and gives up the rebound but Zardes can’t get to it.
84’ #CrewSC substitution: Niko Hansen in for Martinez.
78’ D.C. substitution: Harkes out for Odoi-Atsem.
71’ Crew SC substitution: Clark off for Mohammed Abu.
60’ The ensuing corner ends with Zardes heading of the crossbar before Martinez is called for offside.
60’ Quick switch of the field in the final third as Pipa finds a sprinting Martinez. His shot is saved by Ousted.
52’ Yellow card to Valenzuela who tug Mullins to prevent a break into the box.
D.C. kicks off and second half is underway. Williams in for Abubakar for the second half. Patrick Mullins also in for Mattocks for United.
Halftime: Crew SC 3 United 1
42’ Martinez carves up DeLeon and sends a low cross that finds the on-rushing Santos at the back post. An easy finish for his first Crew SC goal. 3-1 good guys.
40’ Higuain’s corner is headed up and into the net by Clark. It’s his first Crew SC goal. Black & Gold lead D.C. United 2-1.
30’ Lalas’ accidental flick allows Acosta to find Asad with tons of time at the top of the penalty area. He curls it into the top corner. 1-1
20’ Crew SC take the 1-0 lead! Heel flick from Artur to Martinez leads to the cross. Valenzuela collects in the box and fires his shot home for hist first MLS goal.
19’ Off the a corner from Higuain, Zardes gets a header that hits of Martinez and goes just over. Best chance of the game for Crew SC thus far.
15’ A bad pass from Jonathan looking for Artur nearly results in the opener from #DCU. Mattocks rushes into the penalty box, but Kempin slides and denies.
12’ Afful takes an elbow from Asad deep in Crew SC’s offensive third. Foul is called, no yellow.
3’ Yellow card to Abubakar. Was rather late on his tackle on Arreiola.
Injuries and absences
Crew SC: Columbus will be without goalkeeper Zack Steffen and midfielder and captain Wil Trapp due to international duty. Other than winger Mike Grella and defender Gaston Sauro, who began the season recovering from long-term injuries, it’s a clean bill of healthy for the Black & Gold.
United: Like Crew SC, D.C. misses Oniel Fisher, Dane Kelly, Ulises Segura, Zoltan Stieber and Bruno Miranda due to various national team call-ups. United also will Russell Canouse, Taylor Kemp and Junior Moreno with injuries.
You pick the lineup
Earlier in the week Massive Report Managing Editor Patrick Guldan asked fans to pick the starting lineup for Crew SC on Saturday evening.
Here’s what the fans voted for tonight’s starting XI:
Interesting choices as fans look to replace Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp.
Fans opting for goalkeeper Jon Kempin over Logan Ketterer and midfielder Mohammed Abu in-lieu of Ricardo Clark. Both choices offer a strong replacement for the called up international players.
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, March 24th, 2018, 6:00 PM ET
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
TV: The CW 53.1, Spectrum Sports