D.C. United-Crew Preview
Considering the way D.C. United has played on the road in 2019, this might finally be the season they end their struggles at Columbus.
United looks for a third straight road victory Wednesday night against the struggling Crew, who have not lost a home match in this series in more than a decade.
D.C. (4-2-2) still sits atop the Eastern Conference by one point over three teams, including Columbus, despite falling 2-0 at home to previously winless New York City FC on Sunday. It marked a third straight home game without a win for United, which has been blanked in each of those defeats.
The good news for D.C., though, is that it's 2-0-1 on the road, where it won just once last season and will try to win three in a row for the first time since 2014.
"It hasn't been good from us for the last three home games, but we have to keep in mind that we got a win on the road last week (at Colorado on April 13), and that's a positive thing," coach Ben Olsen told United's official website.
"We can't be too dramatic about this moment, and need to get through this period because it doesn't get any easier. We now have to go to two tough places to play in Columbus and Minnesota (on Sunday)."
D.C. has never gone undefeated in four road matches to open a season, and it's 0-8-3 at Columbus since a 2-0 victory there on Aug. 18, 2007.
The Crew (4-3-1), however, have dropped back-to-back games for the first time on the young campaign. After failing to earn at least one point just once in its first six games of 2019, Columbus fell 1-0 at Montreal on April 13 and 3-1 to Portland on Saturday for its first home defeat.
Columbus' lone goal over the weekend came courtesy of Pedro Santos in the 69th minute when it was already down 2-0. The Crew opened the season 3-0-1 at home.
"We can't let this result become a hangover into the next game," coach Caleb Porter told the Crew's official website. "Certainly, who don't like losing at home."
This will be a rematch of last season's knockout round game won by Columbus in a shootout on the road.
D.C. star midfielder Luciano Acosta did not score in the that game, and is goalless all-time during the regular season against Columbus. Acosta, who has two goals and two assists this season, has been the subject of European transfer rumors, but according to MLS.com via ESPN, United has offered a contract to the talented playmaker, though the club has not commented on the report.
Columbus' own star Gyasi Zardes has three goals this season, but none in the last three league contests. He does not have any in seven regular-season games versus D.C.
Updated April 22, 2019