D.C. United heads to Columbus to take on the Crew for the second time this season on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. (watch at one of the Official Viewing Parties). Columbus visited RFK in March and ended United’s 19 game home-unbeaten streak by a score of 2-1. The Black-and-Red hasn’t earned a point since losing to the Crew back in March, but this is the ideal opportunity to turn the season around by grabbing three points on the road – with a little bit of payback on the side.
With a “W” in sight, here are the VW Keys to the Match:
Focused for 90+ minutes
Head Coach Ben Olsen expressed the team had two lapses early in the last match that made it an uphill battle from the beginning. With the offense starting to gel and flow, it is pivotal that the team as a whole defends together and stays mentally plugged in for the entire 90 minutes.
An Object in Motion Stays in Motion
After scoring two goals against the Philadelphia Union, it seems the Black-and-Red has begun to find its offensive rhythm. Lionard Pajoy tallied his second goal of the season and midfielder Perry Kitchen found his first goal of 2013. With offense coming from midfielders and forwards alike, there should be no shortage of chances on Saturday. The offense is gaining momentum and shouldn’t let the Crew’s defense get in its way.
Keeping an eye on Oduro, Williams, and Higuain
Dominic Oduro has scored three goals thus far in 2013. The threatening midfielder has certainly gotten himself into the Crew attack, hitting the target seven times out of his 14 shots. Additionally, Oduro's speed is always dangerous. So, United's midfield and back line will have to be constantly aware of his ability to make runs in behind. 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year Federico Higuain leads the Crew in shots taken. Higuain is finding space to operate offensively so far, netting one goal and assisting on another. The Black-and-Red will need to keep these three game-changers from finding their rhythm—not giving them too much space to get quality shots off or find passing channels through the United defense.