Preview: Crew, United look to rebound after shutout losses

COLUMBUS CREW vs D.C. UNITED
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
July 21, 2012 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #190)
7:30 p.m. ET (FS-OH; CSN-MA)

One the oldest rivalries in Major League Soccer, the Columbus Crew and D.C. United face off for the first time this season Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew are coming off a second consecutive loss, a 2-0 home defeat by Sporting Kansas City last weekend. United are coming off a loss as well last weekend, after a 4-0 defeat by the Houston Dynamo.

REFEREE: Chris Penso. SAR (bench): Claudio Badea; JAR (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Terry Vaughn
MLS Career: 23 games; FC/gm: 21.8; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 5; pens: 10

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INJURY REPORT:

  • COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: FW Tommy Heinemann (L knee surgery); GK William Hesmer (R hip surgery); MF Kirk Urso (R adductor tendonitis); DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia rehab); MF Bernardo Anor (L knee ACL tear); DOUBTFUL: MF Milovan Mirosevic (L adductor strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Danny O'Rourke (L ankle sprain); FW Aaron Schoenfeld (R plantar fasciitis); DF Julius James (R adductor strain); PROBABLE: DF Carlos Mendes (R ankle sprain); MF Dilly Duka (L hamstring strain)
  • D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Lance Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear); DF Robbie Russell (L plantar fasciitis)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DC: Andy Najar (Honduras; Olympic Games)
SUSPENDED: CLB: Emilio Renteria (through July 22) … DC: Bill Hamid (through July 22)
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Bernardo Anor, Tony Tchani … DC: Maicon Santos, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario, Andy Najar, Dejan Jakovic

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (51 meetings): Crew 20 wins (0 shootout), 73 goals … United 23 wins (5 shootout), 76 goals … Ties 8
AT COLUMBUS (26 meetings): Crew 14 wins (0 shootout), 39 goals … United 7 wins (2 shootout), 24 goals … Ties 5
RETURN MATCH: 8/4: D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. ET; 10/20: D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/19: DC 3, CLB 1 (Wolff 51; Davies 63, 77 – Rogers 79)
10/2: CLB 2, DC 1 (own goal 48; Gaven 60 – Woolard 37)
• The two teams split their two meetings last season, each winning at home. The Crew haven’t lost in Columbus to D.C. United since 2007, a span of four matches (3-0-1).
• The Crew have come away with the full points on three of their last five trips to RFK Stadium, since 2007.
• The game in Columbus is the first of a home-and-home series between the teams for United. The Crew have a home game against Sporting KC before the Aug. 4 trip to RFK Stadium.
• Coaches record: Robert Warzycha vs. KC: P8 W6 L2 T0 … Peter Vermes vs. CLB: P4 W2 L2 T0

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew lost for a second consecutive match, falling 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew sit in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points from 17 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: CLB 0, SKC 2

• The combination of Peterson and Peterson put Sporting into the lead in the sixth minute. Peterson Joseph threaded a perfect through-ball between three defenders near the top of the box for Jacob Peterson, and he cleanly slotted home past goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
• SKC put the game away with eight minutes remaining. On a quick counter after a midfield interception, Kei Kamara slid a centering pass for Teal Bunbury to drive home from the heart of the area.
• Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made four changes to the team that went down to a 2-1 loss to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Eric Gehrig and Bernardo Anor came into the back four for Sebastian Miranda and Nemanja Vukovic, , Justin Meram started in place of Kevan George and Jairo Arrieta came into the team for Milovan Mirosevic.
• COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-2): Andy Gruenebaum - Josh Williams (Olman Vargas 80), Chad Marshall, Eric Gehrig, Bernardo Anor - Eddie Gaven, Tony Tchani (Cole Grossman 76), Chris Birchall, Justin Meram - Jairo Arrieta (Dilly Duka 62), Emilio Renteria.

TEAM NEWS
• The Crew were shut out for a sixth time this season and have scored 17 goals in 17 games, second fewest in MLS (ahead of Chivas USA, with 11) – and the same number of goals that MLS Golden Boot leader Chris Wondolowski of San Jose has scored.
• “The beginning of the game, usually you don't know what the other team is going to do,"  said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. "So, you just watch. That's what happened in the first half, other than the mistake. In the second half, actually, we moved the ball a little bit quicker and we were getting in the spots and being more dangerous. That's why we created those chances … you have to finish your chances when you have them.”
• Warzycha completely restructured his back four, putting Josh Williams – usually a center back – at one fullback spot, and Bernardo Anor – usually a wide midfielder – on the left side of the line.

WATCH: Columbus preview D.C. United

• “We weren't playing well. You change the lineup or the players, obviously you're going to play better,” said Warzycha. “I think Josh and Bernardo, other than the two mistakes, they played a good game. With Bernardo against Kamara and Josh against Sapong, I think they had a good game.”
• However, that experiment will come to an end after Anor suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the game – despite playing the final quarter of the contest after suffering the injury. Anor will undergo surgery and be out 8-10 months.
• “He played half an hour on that leg,” Warzycha said. “He’s a very tough kid." Said Anor: “Maybe adrenaline got me going a little bit longer and got me through.”
• With Anor out, and Shaun Francis released a few week ago, Nemanja Vukovic will likely return to the starting lineup. “I think Vukovic can do the job,” Warzycha said. “Just because he was on the bench the last game it doesn’t mean he’s not a good player. Against Kamara, I thought Bernardo would be better.”
• Costa Rican international Jairo Arrieta made his MLS debut, starting up top alongside Emilio Renteria and playing 62 minutes.
• “It was a tough game against a very good team. I thought they marked (Arrieta) very well, (Matt) Besler and (Aurelien) Collin," Warzycha said. “He didn't have too much room to show us what he can really do. In the first half, I don't think we had any flank play. We didn't put in any crosses. Maybe we just took care of the ball too much in the back and that's why we didn't create too many chances. So for him, if the ball is not getting in the box, he can't shine.”
• Dilly Duka came on for the final 28 minutes in place of Arrieta, his longest stint since his last start, May 26 vs. Chicago. He is coming off another hamstring injury.
• “I came into the game, and I wanted to at least get a tie out of this. I was focused,” Duka said. “We need points and this is a tough stretch. So right off the bat, I just wanted to go in and get in a tackle, or get a shot, or cross a ball.”

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United suffered a second loss in as many road matches, falling 4-0 to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. United are in third place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points from 19 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: HOU 4, DC 0

• The match turned quickly. In the 17th minute, United 'keeper Bill Hamid charged out to cut down a Mac Kandji sprint in the box and took down the Dynamo striker, and referee Jasen Anno immediately pointed to the spot and also showed Hamid a red card. Brad Davis stepped up to rip the spot kick past a newly introduced Joe Willis.
• The Dynamo struck again just before halftime. After Boniek García played Luiz Camargo to the end line, the Brazilian took a touch and slid a pass past a lunging Willis, leaving an easy tap-in for a streaking Will Bruin.
• Houston made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute when Davis set Andre Hainault up on the right flank to deliver a well-crafted cross to a waiting García, and the Dynamo's Designated Player headed home his first MLS goal.
• The Dynamo capped the night after Anno pointed to spot again in the 88th minute when Danny Cruz took down Calen Carr at the end line. Brian Ching stepped up to convert the second penalty of the night for the home side.
• United head coach Ben Olsen made one change to the team that recorded a 3-0 win against the Montréal Impact at RFK Stadium. Danny Cruz came into the side in place of Andy Najar.
• D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Bill Hamid - Robbie Russell (Chris Korb 40), Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard - Danny Cruz, Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius - Branko Boskovic (Joe Willis 19) - Dwayne De Rosario (Nick DeLeon 66), Maicon Santos.

TEAM NEWS
• United have lost two of their last three games after a four-game winning streak. Both losses have come on the road – United have allowed seven goals in the two games.
• “I thought that we could have been meaner," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "I thought that we could have been angrier. I thought our shape could have been better and simply just keep the game 1-0 as long as you can. We got a little stretched, we got impatient, not everybody was working as hard as they could, so that was alarming and we will address that.”
• United were shut out for the first time in seven games – since their last loss in Houston, a 1-0 defeat on May 12.
• “There were some guys out there that gave it their all. There were some guys that put a lot of effort in and I was proud of them. It wasn't every guy out there putting in the effort and that's very alarming,” said Olsen.
• The four goals allowed by United were the second-most this season for the club, after a 5-3 defeat by San Jose on May 2.
• “I expect a response just like we have [had] after some tough losses,” Olsen said.  “We have a road game in Columbus; hopefully we can fix some things there.”
• There was an immediate change with the sending off of goalkeeper Bill Hamid after just 17 minutes. Joe Willis came in for his first league appearance since the San Jose match on May 2.
• “When you are sitting on the bench, you are always thinking that maybe you'll go in so you always have to be prepared," said Willis. "So when Bill [Hamid] got the red card, I was ready. I think the team responded well the entire game. I don't think that the team ever quit. Everyone on this team works hard every day. No matter the situation we were never out of it. Everyone was working hard until the end.”
• Robbie Russell was also forced off before the end of the first half with a foot injury. “We will get him evaluated but I don't think it's a couple days thing,"  said Olsen. "We have some reserves that are ready to go."