D.C. United are looking to add another win to the season record tonight as they face the Columbus Crew at Audi Field.
The Black-and-Red aren’t short on belief and trust in the process and vision of Wayne Rooney. Sitting at 13th in the Eastern Conference standings, D.C. United will need to lean into this belief to start clawing their way up the table.
Wilfried Nancy’s Columbus Crew have performed well this season and are on a two-game winning streak – their longest since 2021. The Black-and-Red will need to be cautious as the Crew has taken both Real Salt Lake and Atlanta to task, winning 4-0 and 6-1, respectively.
Tonight we’ll be looking for a balanced performance from D.C. United. With a goal-happy Crew on the pitch, the Black-and-Red can’t afford defensive errors. We’re also looking to see Taxi Fountas dial in his performance and become a bit more clinical up top. His creativity is there. Anyone watching the 28-yard rocket he fired against Chicago knows it. If you missed it, here you go!
We’re going to remain cautiously optimistic that the Black-and-Red will turn the tide on this season. We’ve seen elements of Rooney’s system start to click into place. He said to the media that before the match with Chicago he “stressed to the players before the game about going back to basics and being hard to beat and keep clean sheets.”
As for tonight? Rooney said, “We have to be solid. We have to be hard to beat.”
Alright, boss. We’re ready. Vamos United!
Key Players: Christian Benteke and Taxi Fountas
We all know by now that Benteke has been D.C.’s danger man so far this season. Last week’s matchup against the Fire showed us that Taxi Fountas is truly back in action. A 28-yard stinger would have singed the net – if the shot hadn’t nearly broken the post. As Fountas dials back in, we can prepare to see some serious excitement up top for D.C. United.
Watch Out For: Aidan Morris
The 21-year-old homegrown midfielder is absolutely treacherous. Morris has scored three goals in the past two games. His ability to link up easily with Darlington Nagbe adds to the threat he poses.
Challenges: D.C. United’s injury list is still too long for our liking, but the true challenge will be
Previously: The Crew bested the Black-and-Red at Lower.com Field on March 4th, winning 2-0. Since meeting with D.C. in March, Columbus has gone on to notch wins against Atlanta and Real Salt Lake.
Columbus Crew Availability:
Out: Luis Diaz (back), Cucho Hernandez (knee), Kevin Molino (knee), Josh Williams (ankle)
Questionable: Eloy Room (knee)
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Brendan Hines-Ike (foot), Martin Rodriguez (knee), Andy Najar (thigh), Nigel Robertha (ankle), Derrick Williams (thigh)
Questionable: Chris Durkin (foot)
Location: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET
Referee: Rosendo Mendoza
Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
Featured image courtesy of D.C. United, Hannah Wagner