Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew SC vs. DC United
Venue: Mapfre Stadium – Saturday, July 16 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Columbus 5/6 – Draw 5/2 – DC United 16/5
The Crew are in a rough patch of form. They drew their last game 1-1 at home to Toronto on Wednesday and are now winless in six attempts. They have fallen to the bottom of the East and have the worst points tally in Major League Soccer.
Gregg Berhalter’s side trail the top six by five points, they have to start winning games again if they are to close that gap. This is the first of back-to-back home games, so they now have an opportunity to pick themselves up and regain some confidence but it will not be easy, as they have a lot to improve on.
It is a worrying time for the Crew fans who have watched their team fall a long way since December’s MLS Cup Final.
DC United are not in a much better run of form themselves heading into this tie. They were on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat to Philadelphia last time out and are underperforming.
The pressure isn’t as intense on Ben Olsen as his side trail the top six by just a point, but he will be aware that a loss here would leave DC just one point ahead of Columbus. It is incredibly tight in the East.
DC are winless in two and have just one win in their last five. They have found wins hard to come by in Columbus, the last time they managed to take all three points in this fixture was back in 2007.
United have lost five of the last eight meetings between the sides since 2013. They will feel they have a good chance of picking up a win here but will be hard pushed to do so as, despite their form, Columbus are unbeaten in their last seven home ties.
Columbus Crew could be without four players for this tie as Matt Pacifici, Gaston Sauro are Federico Higuain all expected to miss out, while Conor Casey is a doubt.
DC United injury list is up to five players now as Chris Korb, Collin Martin and Chris Rolfe are all expected to miss out. Patrick Nyarko and Miguel Aguilar are both doubts. Kofi Opare is suspended for this tie.
Columbus Crew’s last five: D/D/L/L/D
DC United’s last five: L/D/W/D/L
Key Stat: Homesick – DC United have failed to win 14 of their last 15 away matches in Major League Soccer.
Key Player: Ola Kamara – The Columbus forward has been one of the brightest points of what has been a tough season so far. He has netted eight goals in his 12 appearances. The Crew faithful will be willing their man to fire them to victory in this tie.
Columbus Crew 2-2 DC United – The Eastern Conference sides to play out a score draw. Neither are in particularly good form heading into this tie and are both lacking confidence. A draw will not be a helpful result for either side but it looks set to end that way with so little to choose between the two.