Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve recovered yet from last week’s game at the Maryland SoccerPlex. At one point I was trying to warm my feet under the hand dryer in the bathroom (by the way—no line for the women’s and a huge line for the men’s? Amazing, life changing, etc.), and that was good, but it was temporary. Frankly, I’m looking forward to watching this game from the comfort of my own home.
Anyway, enough about me. This week D.C. United are facing the Columbus Crew. The Crew are missing some key players due to international duty, which could help the Black-and-Red or could make absolutely no difference because soccer is a fickle game. Meanwhile, DCU are—still—needing three points somehow, some way, please, we don’t want to be out of the playoffs by July.
It turns out that most of us are feeling some 2-1 vibes this week, but unfortunately we’re not feeling it for our guys.
Columbus may have just endured a scoreless draw away to Philadelphia last weekend, but they’re still in second place in the Eastern Conference, and they’ve allowed just two goals over their three matches this season. United should be buoyed after coming back from 2-0 down to draw Houston, even if they made it very hard on themselves with defensive miscues. The Crew will be without Zack Steffen and Wil Trap, both with the U.S. for their friendlies, which can only help the cause. The problem is that players like Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes, who have five goals between them, are certainly going to play. I’ve got a 2-1 Columbus win, with Zardes and Higuain each adding to their individual tallies, and Darren Mattocks scoring for United.
Donald Wine II
I really think that with Columbus missing Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp due to international duty, Columbus is going to struggle. But, we will also struggle as well with Zoltan and Segura also gone on international duty. We enter the match desperately needing a win, but I don’t think it comes here. Darren Mattocks notches one to offset a Gyasi Zardes goal, and the match ends in a 1-1 draw.
I’m confident that United will build off of last week’s positives while avoiding the types of huge errors that gave Houston their goals. I also think Columbus, without Wil Trapp, will be a bit clunkier than usual going forward. I’ll go so far as to say that D.C. will catch the Crew off guard in the first half, eventually taking the lead as Yamil Asad taps in a cross from Paul Arriola. However, Columbus is still a very good team, and the goal will serve as a wake-up call. Gyasi Zardes will have them level before halftime, and Federico Higuain will give the Crew a winner midway through the second half. United is going to make a valiant effort in this one, but ultimately the Crew will hold on for a 2-1 win.
D.C. United starts this one like they started against Orlando: with high pressure leading to turnovers and opportunities for direct play. It gets D.C. on the board early as Yamil Assad sets up Paul Arriola for a tap-in at the back post after a particularly good counter. Columbus get one back just before halftime through an Higuain free kick. Gyasi Zardes scores a second for the hosts right out of the break. Los Capitalinos generate some second-half chances but can’t make them stick. Crew 2-1.
D.C. United only started looking like something resembling a cohesive unit in the second half last week, while the Crew, while missing Trapp and Steffen, will start the same other nine guys who have comprised the balance of their XIs in 2018. I think D.C. plays better on the whole, with Darren Mattocks inching closer to last year’s goals scored total of four, while Gyasi and Pedro Santos will get the goals for the Crew in a 2-1 win. Better, but still not there yet.
I have been made a fool, as per usual, because I keep predicting DCU will win games. And, obviously, it keeps not happening. So look—I’m not predicting a win. But! I am going to say that United at least gets a point out of this one, though it won’t be a goalfest. I see Mattocks getting a goal for the Black-and-Red, and the final score is 1-1.
Are you getting 2-1 vibes too? Share your predictions in the comments, and don’t forget to take this week’s silly poll while you’re here.
I gotta catch up on The X-Files this weekend. Which DCU player matches which X-Files character? Please vote even if you’ve never seen the show.
This poll is closed
Darren Mattocks as Fox Mulder
Yamil Asad as Dana Scully
David Ousted as Walter Skinner
Zoltan Stieber as The Cigarette Smoking Man
DeLeon, Birnbaum, Brillant, and Mora as The Lone Gunmen