PREVIEW | Crew SC closes in on playoffs with home finale vs. D.C. United

Columbus Crew SC hosts D.C. United in the regular-season home finale on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. This will be the 65th all-time meeting between the Eastern Conference clubs and their second meeting this season. The Black & Gold have a 26-27-11 record overall against United and a 17-7-7 record at MAPFRE Stadium.

Early this season, the Black & Gold travelled to RFK Stadium on Saturday, March 18, for a 2-0 win off the backs of a pair of penalty kicks via Federico Higuain (38’) and Ola Kamara (66’). United’s veteran goalkeeper, Bill Hamid, managed to guess correctly on both penalty kicks but managed to fall short. This match was also Homegrown Player and defender Alex Crognale’s MLS debut in which he went the full 90 and registered a clean sheet.

The Eastern Conference foes met twice last season as well. On Saturday, July 16, 2016, Crew SC hosted United for a 1-1 draw at MAPFRE Stadium. All seemed well after Kamara’s 63rd minute goal but the Black & Gold were reduced to 10 men with 16 minutes remaining. This gave the visitors the chance they needed as they netted a last minute goal by Fabian Espindola (89’) to split the points.

For their final meeting of the 2016 regular season, Crew SC travelled to RFK Stadium on September 28 for a midweek matchup that left them with a 3-0 loss. The hosts stunned the Black & Gold with a trio of late second half goals by Lloyd Sam (71’), Lamar Neagle (86’), and Alvaro Saborio (90’).

After Wednesday night’s 3-3 draw against the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United was eliminated from playoff contention. They will now take on the Black & Gold on Saturday as spoilers with nothing to lose.

On Thursday, Crew SC announced that its Pay As We Play Plan for potential Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoff matches at MAPFRE Stadium through the Eastern Conference Championship are on sale to the general public.

Crew SC Season Ticket Members, 10-Match Plan holders and the general public each have the option to purchase the Pay As We Play Plan at a discounted rate from single-match pricing with the flexibility of only being charged for matches once they are guaranteed to be played.

This year's Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs features three potential home matches for the Black & Gold ahead of the 2017 MLS Cup Final; the Knockout Round features one-game tilts between seeds three and six as well as seeds four and five, with the winners advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinal. Both the Eastern Conference Semifinal and the Eastern Conference Championship are two-legged aggregate series, and Crew SC would host one leg in each round, should it advance.

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