Volkswagen Keys To The Match: Columbus
A huge six-point Eastern Conference swing will be on theline this weekend as D.C. United welcomes the Columbus Crew to RFK. Here are a few keys to Saturday’sshowdown:
Midfielder Dilly Duka was a major factor when the two teams met back onJuly 21. Operating down the leftside of the Crew’s formation he flashed pace and found the ball on hisuber-dangerous left foot often in the first half. Chris Korb and Nick DeLeon were in their first game workingtogether as a defensive pairing that night and should have a betterunderstanding and chemistry this time around.
At 6-foot-4, Chad Marshall is a beast… and D.C. United knowsit. He is the primary target onall Crew set pieces and will draw the Black-and-Red’s top aerial defender. Defensively however, Marshall can bebeaten - as evidenced by Kei Kamara’s dashing header in front of the formerU.S. international last weekend in Kansas City. Thanks in large part to assistant coach Pat Onstad’sefforts, the Black-and-Red have been much better defending set pieces in 2012than in years past and that trend has to continue against Columbus.
The Crew’s top playmaker is red-hot right now. He assisted on the game’s lone goal againstD.C. and then scored twice at Livestrong Sporting Park. Arrieta – like most Columbus players –is extremely efficient with the ball after a turnover, the time when Unitedwill most quickly have to identify and harass the skilled attacker. Expect Perry Kitchen to play a majorrole in ensuring Arrieta does not have a third straight big game.
D.C. United vs Columbus Crew this Saturday at RFK Stadium. Buy tickets