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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. D.C. United

Can the Black & Gold win their first game at home in 2023? Our staff gives their predictions.

MLS: Toronto FC at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After opening the 2023 Major League Soccer season last week on the road with a disappointing result, the Columbus Crew make the team’s home debut on Saturday evening, taking on D.C. United at Field. United finished in last placed in the Eastern Conference in 2022 and began this season with a 3-2 win against Toronto FC at hme.

The Black & Gold began the year with a 4-1 loss against the Philadelphia Union last week, a match that saw some bright moments in new head coach Wilfriend Nancy’s debut. However, refereeing controversy and a few bad moments clouded what was an otherwise positive performance against the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Can Columbus get the team’s first win of the season? The Massive Report staff gives their predictions for the game against D.C.

Grant Miller

The Columbus Crew emerged from the preseason dawning a new formation and strategy last week. For 45 minutes, the Black & Gold looked formidable. I expect that to carry over into the home opener. Not every team in MLS has a defensive backline and goalkeeper to the level of Philadelphia. D.C. certainly doesn’t. United won’t be a push over though. Head coach Wayne Rooney has this group of league vets and academy products believing in themselves after a big upset win in week one. The Crew prevails, but it won’t be easy.

Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 1

Caleb Denorme

The Crew heads back home after a 4-1 defeat against the Philadelphia Union. The first game of the 2023 MLS season didn’t go as planned, helped along with some questionable refereeing decisions. The Black & Gold return home though, just in time for Crewsmas against DC United. I see Columbus rallying behind the team and spurring the Crew on to a victory over DC. There were some things that the Black & Gold did really well for stretches last game, but they will need to put the pieces together into complete performances if they want to get to their goal at the end of the year. I believe they will take a step in the right direction on Saturday.

Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 1

Drew McDaniel

Columbus will bounce back with a victory over D.C. United. The Crew’s attack will not struggle to connect, as Lucas Zelarayan and Cucho Harnandez combine for their first goal connection of the season. D.C. will then shift defensively to shut down Zelarayan and Herandez, opening space for Alexandru Matan to register his first goal with Columbus. The Black & Gold will give up a goal midway through the second half as they continue to work on defensive shape and United will take advantage of a miscommunication.

Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 1

Brian Moracz

As anticipated, the opening match in Philadelphia did not go the way of the Crew. However, there is no cause for concern. It was refreshing to see new blood and new tactics employed by the Black & Gold and this season should be one that Crew fans will enjoy. Expect those good feelings to start this Saturday, as D.C. United come to town. D.C. played okay against an underwhelming Toronto FC side last week, pulling out a win in dramatic fashion by scoring two late goals. However, if D.C. plays the way the team did the first 90 minutes last week and the Crew plays the way it did in the first half in Philadelphia, the Black & Gold will win by at least two goals. Columbus dominates, Cucho Hernandez scores twice and Lucas Zelarayan adds a third.

Columbus Crew 3 D.C. United 1

Patrick Murphy

The 4-1 scoreline in the Crew’s season opener last week flattered the Philadelphia Union a bit. But it was clear in the second half, once Jim Curtin made adjustments, that the Union was the better team in Philadelphia and should be among the best in MLS again. The Black & Gold need to learn from the costly mistakes as they head home and welcome in D.C. United, a side that doesn’t have the same level of talent or experience as the Union.

It will be interesting to see how much Wilfried Nancy changes things, both personnel and tactics, in his second game in charge. Columbus’ attack never really got in gear last week, and should have an easier time against a D.C. team that was susceptible in Week 1. I think there will still be growing pains but Crew fans leave Field happy.

Columbus Crew 2 D.C. United 1

Ryan Schmitt

The Crew played fairly well for a new system against the Philadelphia Union, with three players also making their professional debut. It wasn’t all bad despite the loss. For the season opener at Field, I think the Crew will get a win against D.C. United. The Crew will continue to improve in the final third and will get the team’s first win of the young season against D.C. United.

Columubs 2 D.C. United 1

Let us know your prediction for the Crew’s home opener against United in the comment section below.