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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. D.C. United

Can the Black & Gold finally get its first MLS goal and win?

Columbus Crew v D.C. United

It’s all Major League Soccer from here on out for the Columbus Crew. The Black & Gold were bounced from the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday night in a 3-0 (5-2 on aggregate) loss to Monterrey in Mexico. While Columbus is disappointed to not advance further in the competition, now the focus is fully on repeating as MLS Cup champions.

A club that knows something about winning MLS Cups, and doing so in back-to-back years, is D.C. United. While it’s been some time since United has lifted the Cup, the Black and Red remain one of the most successful clubs in MLS history.

This year’s D.C. side comes to Columbus on Saturday to take on the Crew in an afternoon content. The Black & Gold are yet to win a game in two tries in MLS play, earning back-to-back 0-0 draws to open the season. United began the year with a win but has dropped each of the team’s last two contests.

Can the Crew get its first MLS win of 2021 against the club’s oldest Eastern Conference rival in their final trip to historic Crew Stadium? We asked our staff for their predictions.

Orri Benatar

After a bad result in Mexico, the Crew has just the league to focus on and has to get off the mark on Saturday with goals and a win against D.C. United. With the number of injuries United has, that gives the Crew a good edge going into this game despite having some injuries of its own. Lucas Zelarayan is fully fit after being unable to play on Wednesday and I think Columbus’ superstar shines in front of the home fans in what should be a beautiful day to watch some soccer.
Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 0

Collin Johnson

The Crew return from Monterrey defeated, tired, but with a relatively clean bill of health. Columbus has occasionally struggled with high-pressing teams like D.C. United but should have Darlington Nagbe available to shore up possession. With a rested Lucas Zelarayan and Gyasi Zardes moving further from his shoulder injury, the Black & Gold will finally get on the board in the 2021 MLS season and will grab a win in historic Crew Stadium.
Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 0

Thomas Costello

If there’s a match where the Crew should be motivated, it’s this one. Columbus will use this match to forget matches of days past and unfortunately for D.C. United, they have to be on the receiving end. The Black & Gold will take advantage of playing a club that’s still adjusting to its new coach. Columbus goes into the half on good possession play and a 1-0 lead. The team will add a second goal in the second half and win 2-0. Luis Diaz and Lucas Zelarayan will be the goal scorers.
Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 0

Abigail Hintz

This feels like the Crew’s chance to finally break through its early-season funk. With Lucas Zelarayan back in the lineup and more players returning from injury, the Black & Gold are in a position to get its first three points. D.C. is coming off a brutal 4-1 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday, but does have the advantage of a week of rest compared to the Crew’s three days and extensive travel from Mexico.
Columbus Crew 1 D.C. United 0

Adam Miller

The Crew looks to rebound quickly from a tough night in Mexico on Wednesday. D.C. United pose a tricky test in the last matchup between these two sides in historic Crew Stadium. Columbus fans will hope for one last beat down on D.C. in the stadium and I think they are in luck.

The Black & Gold have too much talent for D.C. to handle and are returning the team’s focus to MLS league play, which is a bad sign for the rest of the league. The Crew will dominate from start to finish and make a statement. Lucas Zelarayan will return to action with a goal and will be joined by Gyasi Zardes and Luis Diaz in the scoring column.
Columbus Crew 3 D.C. United 0

Patrick Murphy

It will be interesting to see how the Crew responds to ending the team’s stay in the Champions League. It’s easy to say “we’ve turned our attention to MLS play,” it’s another to get over the disappointing beatdown in Mexico and actually flip the switch to the league in such a short period of time. But the Black & Gold have proven under Caleb Porter to be a resilient bunch.

What works in Columbus’ favor is a D.C. United team comes to town with a new head coach, a new system and a ton of players out with injuries. That won’t make the game easy, as United’s pressing system will challenge the Black & Gold, but I see the Crew coming out of this game with the team’s first win of the MLS campaign.
Columbus Crew 1 D.C. United 0

What’s your prediction for the Crew’s game against D.C. United? Let us know in the comment section below.