The start of the 2017 season for Columbus Crew SC has been the opposite of what the black and gold had hoped for; luckily the schedule gods have blessed Crew SC with a favorable matchup this Saturday. They have a chance to pick up their first victory of the season versus a struggling D.C. United squad.
Columbus is coming off a 3-1 drubbing at the hands of the surging Houston Dynamo; the five new additions for Crew SC continued to struggle in Houston. Center-back Jonathan Mensah hasn't integrated into the backline, young keeper Zack Steffen has made crucial mistakes and midfielder Mohamed Abu hasn't been able to string passes together.
It isn't just the new additions struggling for Columbus but the "stars" as well. Federico Higuain has disappeared into the grass and star-striker Ola Kamara has only found the net once, and hasn't threatened much. The only bright spots for Columbus have been Justin Meram and young captain Wil Trapp, both have performed brilliantly through the first two weeks.
Columbus will travel to face the embattled D.C. United who are struggling early after a 2016 playoff campaign. D.C. has yet to score through their first two games, drawing 0-0 versus Sporting KC and taking a 4-0 spanking by New York City FC. D.C. have been shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since early June in 2016. D.C. United has had 10 shots on target saved by opposing keepers and hope to find form against Crew SC keeper Zack Steffen.
D.C. United has a strong back line that includes U.S. international keeper Bill Hamid and talented center-back Steve Birnbaum. They were exposed by the strong NYCFC attack but will be tough to score against.
If Columbus expects to make a run towards the playoffs this season they need 3 points on the road versus a struggling D.C. team. Manager Gregg Berhalter needs to unlock the potential this squad showed when they made the run to the Final in 2015. If Columbus can't find a way to win it will indicate a long season in Columbus.
D.C. United vs Columbus Crew SC: 7:00pm E.T.
WATCH: MLS LIVE, Newschannel 8 (DC), Spectrum OH (CLB), CW-Columbus (CLB
This is the 65th regular-season meeting between these two franchises, who both have been playing in the league since its founding in 1996.
This will be the last time Columbus plays in historic RFK Stadium with D.C. United opening up Audi Field in 2018.
This will be the 34th visit by Columbus to RFK, they have lost 20 of the past 33 visits.