Federico Higuain - Columbus Crew SC - Cheers after a goal
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Columbus Crew SC vs. DC United | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Columbus Crew vs. D.C. United
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 4
MAPFRE Stadium — Columbus
6 pm ET – March 24, 2018
WATCH: MLS LIVE | MLS LIVE on DAZN

Both teams are coming off draws in Week 3, but D.C. United’s certainly felt more like a win as the Black-and-Red rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to share the points with the Houston Dynamo thanks to a Luciano Acosta goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Columbus Crew SC failed to make it a perfect 3-for-3 in the win column to start the season, but taking a point on the road following a 0-0 draw with the Philadelphia Union isn’t the worst thing as Columbus extends their season-opening unbeaten streak.

Columbus Crew SC

Gyasi Zardes opened the season with three goals in two games for his new club and although he didn’t add on to his account, he remained very dangerous with a game-high four shots and continued a nice partnership with Federico Higuain, which is a very good sign for Crew SC fans.

Columbus will be without regular starters Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp, who were both called up for the US national team’s friendly against Paraguay on March 27. It snaps a 37-game stretch both have been in Gregg Berhalter’s starting XI.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Berhalter told the Columbus Dispatch. “You have two young national team players, but you give other guys opportunities and they have been working really hard for these opportunities. So I’m excited that two new guys are going to play.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: GK - Zack Steffen, F - Wil Trapp
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Mike Grella (left knee), D - Gaston Sauro (left knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Logan Ketterer — Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Lalas Abubakar, Milton Valenzuela — Artur, Mohammed Abu — Cristian Martinez, Federico Higuain, Pedro Santos — Gyasi Zardes

  • Notes: Since the start of last season, Steffen ranks in the top three in MLS in both saves (107 – third overall) and clean sheets (11 – tied for the second-most). … Since the start of the 2016 season, Columbus are averaging 2 goals in league home matches (inc. playoffs), tied for the fourth-highest total in MLS. They are 20W-6L-11D in that time.

D.C. United 

Two “gross mistakes,” according to Ben Olsen, punctuated the first half. Determination, grift and resilience was the story of the second 45 minutes as D.C. United rallied for a dramatic 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

Darren Mattocks scored for a second consecutive game, Acosta capped his first start of the 2018 season with the late equalizer and Chris Durkin was also influential off the bench for the Black-and-Red.

The combination of injuries and international duty means that Olsen will have to rework his midfield this week. That could mean a deserved start for Durkin, who might be joined by Ian Harkes, who made 22 starts as a rookie in 2017.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: D - Oniel Fisher, F - Dane Kelly, M - Ulises Segura, M - Zoltan Stieber, F - Bruno Miranda
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Russell Canouse (knee), D - Taylor Kemp (groin), M - Junior Moreno (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK - David Ousted — Nick DeLeon, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora — Ian Harkes, Chris Durkin — Paul Arriola, Yamil Asad, Luciano Acosta — Darren Mattocks

  • Notes: Half of United’s goals this season have come in the final 15 minutes of matches (two of their four). Only two teams have more in that timeframe. … Dating back to last season. D.C. United are winless in their last seven league games (4L-3D), conceding multiple goals in all but one match in this stretch.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Crew SC 28 wins, 97 goals … D.C. United 27 wins, 89 goals … Ties 11
  • At Columbus: Crew SC 18 wins, 52 goals … D.C. United 7 wins, 26 goals … Ties 7
  • Last meeting at Columbus: Columbus Crew SC 2, D.C. United 0 (September 30, 2017)

Referees

Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Jason White, Danny Thornberry
4th Official: Alex Chilowicz
VAR: Silviu Petrescu