Crew-United Preview

Neither D.C. United nor the Columbus Crew have been able to gain

much traction in the season’s early going.

D.C. has had a difficult time generating offense through its

first three matches, while a late defensive breakdown cost Columbus

a chance at its second win its last time out.

United will put their 19-game home unbeaten streak on the line

on Saturday against the Crew, who struggled on the road last season

with a 4-4-9 record and only 16 goals scored in those games.

D.C. (1-1-1) is also going for its 300th all-time victory, which

would put it with Los Angeles as the only two MLS clubs to reach

that mark. But to do so, the United likely have to break out on

offense after mustering one goal through the first three

matches.

Dwayne De Rosario’s return from a two-match suspension for a

preseason altercation figured to help boost the attack last

Saturday at New York, but the striker had only one shot on goal in

a scoreless draw.

The United could use more from De Rosario, who was third on the

team last year with seven goals and paced the club with 12 assists,

as well as Chris Pontius, who scored a team-best 12 goals last year

but has yet to find the back of the net on five shots this

season.

They’ve stayed in matches on the strength of goalkeeper Bill

Hamid, who made eight saves against New York for his second

straight shutout.

“You have to credit our great goalkeeper,” coach Ben Olsen said.

“Our defense was able to scramble and make plays. We were

disconnected on the offensive end and we just have to get better

there. We have to get more possessions of the ball and look to

improve on that.”

The Crew also have four points through three matches and are

coming off a 1-1 draw last Saturday with San Jose after they gave

up a goal in the 74th minute. But it did come six minutes after

Glauber headed in a corner kick for his first goal in his third

career MLS match.

Two of Columbus’ five goals have been scored by defenders off

corner kicks.

“The more important thing is to win, but I feel happy when I am

helping my team,” Glauber said. “I hope in the next games I don’t

score, but we win. That is more important for me and the Columbus

Crew.”

However, Columbus’ offense could be hamstrung on Saturday as

Jairo Arrieta will miss the match to represent Costa Rica in World

Cup qualifying action. The forward tied for the team lead with nine

goals last year despite playing only 18 matches.

United’s last home loss came on March 10, 2012, and they have

won four of five at home against Columbus.