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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. D.C. United

A clash of two MLS originals brings hope for a Columbus team that needs to start scoring goals.

Sam Fahmi - Massive Report

On Saturday, the Columbus Crew returns home to Field to face D.C. United. It’s one of only three home matches between now and the beginning of July and it comes at a time when the Crew needs a win the most.

The Black & Gold haven’t scored an MLS regular season goal in over 360 minutes. Head coach Caleb Porter’s side is likely down midfielder Lucas Zelarayán, who’s recovering from a knee injury.

Columbus’ task on Saturday is to stop a slide of three losses followed by a goalless draw. The Massive Report staff has predictions on how they see Saturday playing out but before that, let’s see how the writers have done so far this season.

Massive Report 2022 Predictions

Name MP Correct Score/Result Correct Result Wrong Result Points
Name MP Correct Score/Result Correct Result Wrong Result Points
Brian Moracz 9 2 2 5 8
Patrick Murphy 9 2 2 5 8
Collin Johnson 9 2 1 6 7
Theodore Sovinski 9 1 4 4 7
Caleb Denorme 9 1 2 6 5
Drew McDaniel 8 1 2 5 5
Ryan Schmitt 8 1 2 5 5
Abigail Hintz 5 1 2 2 5
Kyle Jackson 4 1 1 2 4
Nathan Townsend 9 0 3 6 3
Adam Miller 9 0 2 7 2
Thomas Costello 9 0 2 7 2
Grant Miller 6 0 1 5 1
John Pearson 6 0 1 5 1
Tyler Fisher 4 0 1 3 1
Devin Weisberth 6 0 0 6 0

Now, here’s how the group thinks Saturday will go.

Adam Miller

This is definitely going to be a match with weird vibes. Two teams that have gotten off to poor starts and are trying to stop the bleeding. In addition, both teams are suffering from a lack of identity.

D.C. will likely feel this way after firing former head coach Hernan Losada after just 15 months in charge. The Crew has its own questions at the head coaching spot and just traded away arguably the team’s most liked and known figure in Columbus. Regardless, this match presents a huge chance for the Crew to get back to winning ways.

The Crew has had a lot of attacking success against teams that play with three central defenders and wingbacks on either side and I expect that to continue in this match. It may not be to the tune of four and three goals like we saw in the first two matches of the season but I do expect the Crew to threaten the goal more on Saturday. The Crew will jump out to an early lead thanks to a tap in by forward Miguel Berry. Winger Yaw Yeboah will extend the Crew’s lead in the second half before the Crew gives up a goal to have supporters biting their nails the last few minutes.
Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 1

Brian Moracz

Although the Crew put forth another scoreless effort at Sporting Kansas City, the Black & Gold were able to come away with an ever-elusive away point. Turn the page now to D.C. United and the question on everyone’s mind is will Columbus finally put the ball in the back of the net?

The team hasn’t scored in four league matches and it will once again be extra challenging as all signs point to midfielder Lucas Zelarayán remaining unavailable for selection. Even without Zelarayán, I believe the Crew will score, inciting pandemonium amongst the faithful. A scrappy goal from midfielder Darlington Nagbe puts the Crew ahead early, but a goal from D.C.’s Taxiarchis Fountas sees D.C. equalize late.
Columbus Crew 1 D.C. United 1

Caleb Denorme

The Crew is floundering. After trading away forward Gyasi Zardes, Columbus ended up with a 0-0 draw in Kansas City. Not a terrible result, but with the team that the Black & Gold have, they should be in a better position in the Eastern Conference.

D.C. United hasn’t been very convincing this year either, only having nine points to show for through seven games. Columbus has to get back on track this week and show the fans that the team can win without Zardes up top.

This has to be a team effort to get three points on Saturday night. I think the Crew can get it done. I think that winger Derrick Etienne Jr. gets a much-needed goal for Columbus and goalkeeper Eloy Room leads a defensive effort as the Black & Gold take a positive result. Big question marks still remain surrounding the Crew’s striker situation, but hopefully those will be resolved this summer.
Columbus Crew 1 D.C. United 0

Collin Johnson

The Crew showed a new wrinkle last week in Kansas City, deploying a defensively stout 4-3-3 with Lucas Zelarayán sidelined and a thin striker line. The soccer might not have been attractive but it was certainly effective and helped give some valuable minutes to midfielder Aidan Morris, who continued to make the case for playing time.

With another week of practice in this formation and a return home, this formation should pack a bit more punch than last week, well, if they decide to use it.
Columbus Crew 1 D.C. United 0

Drew McDaniel

The Crew comes into this match desperately needing a win. Forward Ola Kamara will score first, but the Crew will fight back finally scoring a goal from a corner kick. Columbus will also win a penalty kick to win the game.
Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 1

John Pearson

Columbus and D.C. United have been nearly identical this season, so this game is going to be tough to call. It would be easy to just go with a simple 1-1 draw, but I have to rely on the fact that the Crew has the more talented squad.

The Black & Gold ranks sixth in MLS in expected goals at 13.6 per fbref, while D.C. United ranks sixth-to-last with 8.2 and second to last in non-penalty expected goals with 6.7. It does pain me that I am relying on advanced stats to prove why I think Columbus is still the better team. The Crew has the chances, the team just isn’t finishing them and if Miguel Berry and that attack don’t find it quickly, it will be the story of the season.

I’m going to say that Lucas Zelarayán finds the net against that United defense and Berry finally shakes the cobwebs off with a goal.
Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 1

Kyle Jackson

It’s a much-needed return to home for the Crew this weekend after only picking up a point in the month of April so far. The Black & Gold welcome in a complicated D.C. United team who has scored eight goals in its last three games in all competitions, including a 3-2 win against the New England Revolution last weekend, but have conceded 10 on the season.

While D.C. brings a goal-scoring threat, the team hasn’t been tested that much on the road in league play, only playing two games so far this season going 1-1-0. The Crew has lost to D.C. at home twice in league play since 2010 and is in desperate need of a win here to get the season back on track.

This game is going to come down to whether or not Lucas Zelarayán is healthy to play. If he can make the starting 11, he’ll add an extra element to the attack to help split the back three of D.C. and allow for more goal-scoring opportunities for Miguel Berry. If not, well I’m afraid we’re in for another long 90 minutes folks.
Columbus Crew 1 D.C. United 1

Patrick Murphy

Coming back home, this feels as much like a must-win as a match can feel without truly being a must-win. The pressure is mounting and, after a tie on the road last week, the Crew doesn’t want to make it five straight games without a win.

I’m on vacation in England so I’m not going to provide much analysis other than to say that when I’m not at a game at Field, the Black & Gold have done pretty well.
Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 0

Theodore Sovinski

I want to be an optimist. It’s early days yet but it really does feel like Saturday’s game against D.C. United is a must-win for Columbus.

The Crew needs to create more chances. The team’s expected goals has fallen off a cliff since the international break (about nine pre-break, about four post-break) and the Black & Gold aren’t finishing the chances they do create. On the other hand, D.C. is heading into it second game after firing the head coach and they may be reenergized following a refresh at the top. Didn’t I start by saying I wanted to be optimistic?
Columbus Crew 1 D.C. United 0

Thomas Costello

There are many reasons why the Crew scoring a goal would be a great thing, but it’s moved into “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode.

While D.C. shifted coaches last week, that usually means a bump in play, which was evident in United’s 3-2 victory against the New England Revolution. United will bring that bump to Columbus with Kamara scoring for the visitors. The Crew will be close to tying the match up, but the frustrations continue.
D.C. United 1 Columbus Crew 0

Now it’s your turn. Let us know your predictions in the comments below, or on our Twitter page.