Talking Strategy: D.C. United v Columbus Crew
Third time’s a charm. The Black-and-Red host the Columbus Crew at FedExField tomorrow, and the squad is ready to get the W against its Eastern Conference foe, having lost and tied in its previous two meetings.
“Everyone definitely remembers the first two games,” Goalkeeping Coach Preston Burpo said. “We know the team well. We’ve been preparing for them, and we expect to go out, do what we’ve been doing, and get three points.”
Previously, United has focused defensively on Federico Higuaín, but the Argentinean playmaker exited Wednesday’s match early with an injury. For DCU, it doesn’t change the game plan much.
“He’s an important piece,” Burpo said. “If he’s available against us Saturday, our players understand him and have seen him a couple times. If he’s not, okay, fine. We still need to take care of our business. Whether it’s [Ben] Speas or whether it’s [Dan] Paladini, they’re both creative guys and can pick teams apart with passes. Whoever shows up, they play in the same system.”
As the technical staff continues planning, scouting, and preparing the team, the rest of the staff is finalizing logistics of playing at FedExField in a Road to Brazil doubleheader with Spain and El Salvador.
“It’s a little strange with us going to FedEx; it feels like an away game,” Burpo explained. “So we’re making sure for tomorrow, that everyone knows what is going on so once we get on the bus, there won’t be any questions; so we’ll just roll right in there and take care of our business.”
Taking care of business is something United is very capable of. Regardless of the post-match statistics, the Black-and-Red is content with the one statistic that matters—three points.
“Winning is winning. You look at Columbus and they have a lot of possession, and they’re not at the top of the table right now. However you win, we have a team that’s been able to figure it out six times so far this year,” Burpo stated.
In regards to Columbus, a team that can knock the ball around, Burpo is satisfied to let them play, as long as United capitalizes on its chances.
“If it means Columbus has a little bit more possession, and we sit back, and they’re not creating dangerous chances— that’s okay,” he said. “Once we win it, we need to do something with the ball. However you win, whether it’s on the road or at home, that’s the most important thing.”
Join us at FedExField to watch the Black-and-Red take on the Crew at 6:30 PM, directly after Spain faces El Salvador in a Road to Brazil friendly. Buy your tickets here!