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GameThread 33: D.C. United Vs. Columbus Crew

Its the most important game in at least three years for D.C. United. A tie clinches a playoff spot. A win clinches a home playoff game.

Ned Dishman

I don't really have to tell you how much this game means for D.C. United. At the start of the season, Ben Olsen set the playoffs as the goal. At this moment right now, United is just one point away from accomplishing that goal. The Columbus Crew are the only thing in between United and its goal. So let's go run them over.

Game time: 7:30 PM

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Projected starting lineup: We've talked about a couple different options already this week. United could use the 4-5-1 that we've been seeing in recent games on the road against weaker opponents. Or United could opt for a 3-4-3 that would specifically attack the Crew's weakness.

I'm predicting something different though. I'm predicting something in between these two options, and something that's a bit more standard for this team. I'm predicting a return to a bucket 4-4-2 formation, with Chris Pontius joining Lionard Pajoy up top, and giving United two aggressive players to keep the Columbus back line on its heels. This would allow Perry Kitchen and Marcelo Saragosa to remain together in central midfield, with Nick DeLeon and Lewis Neal on the wings. The back line will of course be unchanged, with Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald, and Andy Najar lining up from left to right, and with Bill Hamid in goal.

Prediction: We can all take heart in the fact that United hasn't lost at home since March, with that lone loss coming to the leaders in the East. But United has several draws at home, and that's what I think we'll see tonight. I'm predicting a 1-1 draw, with the Crew forcing Hamid into several late saves to preserve the point.

What are you drinking? United is undefeated since the bottling of my most recent homebrew. So there's no need for me to branch out. I'm drinking Emdee Brew #2.

This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.