BRADENTON, Fla.- The Crew began its 2013 preseason schedule with a 1-0 victory against MLS Eastern Conference rival D.C. United behind trialist Sercan Güvenisik's 66th minute penalty kick on Saturday. Justin Meram drew a foul on United defender Conor Shanosky in the area to set up the penalty for Güvenisik.
Early on in the match, both sides fought off offseason rust in their first exhibitions of 2013. Veteran Eddie Gaven nearly put the Crew ahead by putting a headed shot on target from a Tyson Wahl cross, but D.C. goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra was there to smother the attempt. It was Gaven again in the 26th minute causing havoc in the attack, nearly putting the Black & Gold in front with a well-paced shot on goal from 20 yards out, but Dykstra's diving save denied Gaven to force a corner kick. United's best chance came just before halftime when a deflected ball found the feet of an open Nick DeLeon in the box, but the winger fired wide to keep the match scoreless heading into the half.
Both Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha and D.C. skipper Ben Olsen fielded entirely different lineups in the second half, giving the coaches a chance to observe the many trialists in each side's preseason camps. Güvenisik made the most of his opportunity, converting the Meram-drawn penalty to lead the Black & Gold to victory.
The Crew will be back in action Wednesday when it takes on the Chicago Fire at 11 a.m. at IMG Academy in Bradenton.
66' - Columbus Crew - Sercan Güvenisik (Penalty)
24' - D.C. United - Brandon McDonald (Caution)
44' - Columbus Crew - Tyson Wahl (Caution)
78' - Columbus Crew - Wil Trapp (Caution)
Columbus Crew (First half): Andy Gruenebaum; Chad Barson, Chad Marshall, Josh Williams, Tyson Wahl; Eddie Gaven, Kevan George, Tony Tchani, Ben Speas; Federico Higuaín, Ryan Finley.
Columbus Crew (Second half): Matt Lampson; Reed Matte*, Eric Gehrig, Drew Beckie*, Kyle Hyland^; Ethan Finlay, Wil Trapp, Krystian Witkowski^ (Shawn Sloan*, 85), Justin Meram; Sercan Güvenisik^ (Nate Bascom^, 85'), Aaron Schoenfeld (Blake Brettschneider^, 67).
*Unsigned draft pick
D.C. United (First half): Andrew Dykstra; Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard, Chris Korb; Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Marcelo Saragosa, John Thorrington, Ryan Richter^; Lionard Pajoy.
D.C. United (Second half): Matt VanOekel^; Demitrius Omphroy^, Ethan White, Kyle Altman^, Taylor Kemp (Lance Rozeboom, 74); Evan Raynr, Joseph Nane^, Conor Shanosky, Neven Markovic; Casey Townsend (Michael Seaton, 74), Rafael.