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Massive Predictions: Crew SC at D.C. United

Can the Black & Gold replicate their performance against United from a few weeks ago?

MLS: D.C. United at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC and D.C. United renew their Major League Soccer rivalry on Saturday evening, this time at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

The Black & Gold and the Black & Red met three weeks ago at MAPFRE Stadium. Despite both teams missing some pieces, Crew SC left the happier side with a 3-1 win.

Now both teams should be closer to full strength heading into this contest.

The questions surrounding this game are focusing more on the field (turf) and dimensions (narrow). How will that impact this game?

Also, can Columbus avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2014 against a United team that is yet to win a game this season?

Here is what our staff thinks on this match.

Josh Mlot

It’s the home field that’s not home for anyone. From that perspective, other than having to make a longer trip to get there, I’m not sure it’s much more of an obstacle for Columbus than it is for D.C. It may make it harder for the Black & Gold to spread things out, but I think when we focus on the field too much, its impact tends to get overblown.

Despite the fact United is still looking for its first win, outside of losses to two of the best attacks in the league, it has been very competitive. I think we’re more likely to see something like that than a repeat of CCSC’s 3-1 victory in Columbus. And DCU had an extra week to prepare for Crew SC because it didn’t play last week. I think that’s going to make for a tight game. I’ll guess goals from Gyasi Zardes and Federico Higuain.
Columbus Crew SC 2 D.C. United 1

Guilherme Torres

D.C. was probably the team to offer the least resistance to Crew SC this season so far, but things will be harder this weekend. Not only are the Black & Gold will be on the road, but they will be on a narrow, synthetic field, which doesn’t work well for the team’s strategy of dominating possession and stretching the opponents.

After two setbacks, Crew SC need to get as many points as it can this weekend and set pieces will be an important weapon for the team. With skilled players on the ball such as Federico Higuain and Pedro Santos and physical players with the ability to head it home such as Gyasi Zardes, Jonathan Mensah and Josh Williams, the Black & Gold are in position to get their second road win in 2018 in what could be a very active match.
Columbus Crew SC 2 D.C. United 1

Collin Johnson

A few weeks ago I said that D.C. still hadn’t figured out what they were doing under eighth-year head coach Ben Olsen. After a few more matches, United still hasn’t figured it out and has yet to win in 2018. Meanwhile, Crew SC have lost two straight matches but played one of their best games of the season in Chicago, hitting the post multiple times but failing to score.

As always, road matches in MLS are difficult to win, but this week’s game has a slight wrinkle. Playing in Annapolis, this will be a sort of away match for both teams. I’d expect this to be a relatively healthy D.C. contingent present for the very short trip. If Crew SC is able to create as many chances as they were able to in Chicago, the losing streak should be over.
Columbus Crew SC 2 D.C. United 0

Patrick Murphy

I’m torn on this game. On one hand, I know Crew SC should win because I believe the Black & Gold are the better team. With that said, Columbus is going on the road in MLS, which is never easy, and this is a desperate D.C. team with no wins yet on the season. We saw what that can look like last week.

United will have some pieces back, so I do think they will be more competitive than in the last match. Of course Crew SC will have Wil Trapp and Zack Steffen back on the pitch. Since the Black & Gold don’t typically lose three games in a row, I won’t go with a loss, but for some reason I don’t feel great about this game.
Columbus Crew SC 2 D.C. United 2

Ralph Schudel

Let’s go to Annapolis! No, it’s not for basic training, or the Buckeyes playing the Midshipmen, it’s Crew SC vs. D.C. United.

The last time these clubs met, the Black & Gold exploded for three goals in 22 minutes and Young Designated Player Milton Valenzuela scored his first professional goal. Things haven’t improved for United as they still search for win No. 1 on this young season. As we saw in the first game, D.C. possesses plenty of talent, but they just need to put it together. Yamil Asad and Luciano Acosta warrant the most attention from the Crew SC defense. I anticipate things to be a bit tighter at the back with the return of Zack Steffen.
Columbus Crew SC 3 D.C. United 1

Patrick Guldan

Waiting for Audi Field to open, D.C. United is playing one of the team’s two “home” games before July. They will be playing on the small gridiron football field in Annapolis, dimensions that neither team regularly prepare for. Without a “home” field advantage, the game will come down more to who the better team is. Crew SC may be on a two-game losing streak, but they are still pretty good and the losses were a bit fluky. D.C. United, they aren’t as good.
Columbus Crew SC 2 D.C. United 1

There you have it. Now it’s your turn. How do you think Crew SC and United play out on Saturday?