Is this a must-win?
I don’t need to explain to you that D.C. United’s 2018 season, so far, has been pretty disappointing. And I don’t need to tell you that there are still a slew of road games to play before the opening of Audi Field, and every point is critical. And, surely, I don’t need to remind you that the Black-and-Red play only two “home” games in the first half of this season, and one of them already happened and it was a hard-fought draw.
So. D.C. United are playing Columbus Crew SC in Annapolis tomorrow. They already played the Crew a few weeks ago and it didn’t go particularly well—3-1 in the end. This is the second and last home away from home game, and DCU need to make a statement that’s not, “Yup, we are bad this year.”
Must-win? Maybe. Will win? Well...
Donald Wine II
The Black-and-Red desperately need a victory to calm the fanbase and put some hope back into a season that’s already gotten away from them early. Before they embark on an eight game road trip to take us to the Audi Field opener, they get a chance to perform better against the Crew. Sadly, I think the tough times continue. We get a goal from Lucho Acosta, but that’s offset by a Federico Higuain goal as D.C. United crawl to a 1-1 draw.
Columbus started the season with two straight wins, including a surprise win at defending champion Toronto, but they’ve lost their last two games and they have earned just four points over their last four contests. That alone should be a good sign for a hopeful D.C. United, who have had two weeks to prepare for this “home” game. Considering that Gyasi Zardes has cooled off significantly from his hot start, with just one goal in his last four games, coupled with the fact that Russell Canouse is back, and I am oddly optimistic about this. Give me a 1-0 DCU win with a late Yamil Asad goal.
Obviously the big thing when it comes to this game is what kind of improvements D.C. will have made since moving a game to June for the purposes of, well let’s call it MLS assuaging. And I think a couple of things will bear themselves out; first, D.C. played not horrible in their last game two weeks ago with Sporting Kansas City, but I also think the Crew’s last two losses are a little overstated; both were one goal losses where they generally handled the game well, the first loss game when Kei Kamara beat Will Trapp on a header (and frankly, that’s a goal most any time), and last week, Nemanja Nikolic (who only won the Golden Boot last year) capitalized on a Zack Steffen error early in the game and the Chicago Fire held on from there. Sure, Yamil Asad gets a goal, but it’s not enough against a Gyasi Zardes brace (I can’t believe I wrote those words) and the Crew win 2-1.
I actually felt like United did plenty right in the first half of their loss in Columbus. They pressed the Crew, they caused them issues, they carved out good chances, and if not for some gigantic individual errors, very poor set piece defending, and a bad call they could have easily gotten into the locker room up a goal. The process was almost good, and it’s definitely a process that can be replicated. United should set out to high-press the Crew, and they should be trying to take advantage of the fact that the artificial turf in Annapolis probably won’t help Columbus play their normal game.
However, we have been talking about United cutting out the individual mistakes since the first game of the preseason, and that hasn’t happened yet, so I can’t bring myself to predict a win. I do like the Yamil Asad goal prediction everyone else is going with, and I also think Darren Mattocks will nab a goal, but in between those strikes we’ll see Pedro Santos capitalize on a United mistake and Gyasi Zardes nod in a set piece. I don’t see the dramatic ending that we had at the Plex, but the scoreline will be the same. 2-2, making Saturday the 204th straight day in which United has not won a competitive game.
To me, yes, this is a must-win game. Frankly, without the win, I will promptly lose any hope of success this season and set my sights on 2019. Too dramatic? I guess I’m feeling the drama this week, guys—and I’m predicting drama for the game, too. It’s going to be rough. It’s going to be ugly. It’s going to have cards. And, after 90 minutes, it’s going to be 1-0 to the “home” team—a late goal, and I don’t even care to predict who gets it. Just know it will happen, and there will be drama.
What are you predicting for tomorrow’s game? Share in the comments, and don’t forget to take this week’s silly poll as well.
My track record with keeping plants alive is abysmal, but I currently have an orchid and a succulent in my care. Will they die at my hand?
This poll is closed
No, you got this!
The orchid will definitely perish, but the succulent will flourish.
The succulent will succumb, but the orchid will thrive.