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Preview: Crew vs. DC United

The basics

D.C. United (3-8-1; 1-4 road and 7th East) at Columbus Crew (6-2-3; 4-1 home and T-1st East), 7:30 ET.

D.C. United leads the series 22-17-8. Columbus leads 12-7-5 at home.

TV info

Direct Kick, MatchDay Live.

What's at stake?

Both clubs are looking to start the post-World Cup break on a positive note. You wouldn’t know it based on the standings, but the teams are headed in opposite directions with D.C. being on the up side (2-0-1), while the Crew are winless in three (0-2-1).

Last meeting

Oct. 17, 2009 — Luciano Emilio scored in the 17th minute and Steve Cronin made five saves as D.C. United won 1-0 at home. Crew forward Emilio Renteria received a red card in the 83rd minute.

Remember when?

Oct. 26, 2008 — Needing a win in the season finale to make the playoffs, visiting D.C. United dominated the Supporters’ Shield winners but could not find the back of the net, despite hitting the frame three times. The Crew won 1-0 on Brad Evans’ strike from 30 yards that nicked the inside left post in the 77th minute.

Heroes & Villains:

D.C. forward Chris Pontius vs. Crew center backs – Pontius leads the club with three goals, including two in the last outing at Seattle Sounders FC. But at 6-foot he will be dwarfed by whatever combination is in the middle for the Crew. There’s the possibility he could go against former UC Santa Barbara teammate Andy Iro (6-foot-5-inches).

Crew right back vs. D.C. attack – With team captain Frankie Hejduk expected to miss his fifth straight match (hamstring), coach Robert Warzycha must find the best fit on the right side. The return of Danny O’Rourke (quadriceps strain) could allow him to play center back and Eric Brunner might move to Hejduk’s spot as he did for the last match at Colorado. Whoever is there better must be ready – D.C. has put three on the board in two of the past three matches.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm …”

April 24 was the last time the Crew’s Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored from the run of play. His only goal since – the fourth of the season – came on May 15 via a penalty vs. Chivas USA.

He said it:

“We sell them in our shop. I don’t expect we’re going to ban them or quit selling them right now. It’s not an issue. We’ll deal with it if it becomes one.”—Crew president/GM Mark McCullers on the vuvuzelas (air horns) made annoyingly famous at the World Cup in South Africa.