Federico Higuain’s miss on Wednesday from the spot was his first of the season after an impressive 3-for-3 start to 2014. Higuain went 6-for-8 from the spot in 2013 and he had one shot saved -- May 4 against New York’s Luis Robles. He missed one as well, on July 7 against Portland’s Donovan Ricketts. While Higuain was not able to convert on Wednesday night, the Crew went on to find a goal from Ethan Finlay to level the match at 1-1.
Saturday’s meeting is the 59th regular-season meeting between the Crew and United dating back to 1996. The match at FedExField marks just the fourth-ever venue for a regular-season meeting between the two teams. That short list includes Ohio Stadium, D.C.’s RFK Stadium and the Crew’s current home, Columbus Crew Stadium.
Midfielder Ben Speas has recorded an assist in two consecutive matches, both during the busy stretch of three matches in eight days. Both of his assists have been in substitute appearances. Speas played just four minutes before adding a helper in Toronto on May 31 and on Wednesday night Speas was subbed on before the end of the first half and helped Ethan Finlay equalize late.
THE ROAD TO BRAZIL
The Crew’s match at D.C. United has been moved to FedExField as part of a Road to Brazil double-header ... Road to Brazil, a 10-day, seven-game tour featuring FIFA World Cup-bound nations, is set to take place across the United States just days prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup ... the Black & Gold road match – previously scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. ET kick that day at RFK Stadium – is now being held as the second match of the evening at FedExField in Landover, Md. following the conclusion of Spain versus El Salvador ... Road to Brazil is being organized by Major League Soccer’s commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing.
A THIRD SHOT AT UNITED
The Crew opened the Gregg Berhalter era with a 3-0 win over D.C. United on March 8 at RFK Stadium ... the away victory began the club’s three-match road unbeaten streak (2-0-1) ... the Crew found a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw on April 19 in the second meeting ... the 2014 regular-season series concludes this weekend.
SCORE FIRST AGAINST UNITED AND SUCCEED ...
Since the start of the 2009, the Crew has secured points in seven of the eight meetings between the Crew and United in which the Black & Gold have scored first ... overall, the Black & Gold are 7-4-2 in the last five seasons against United.
... BUT LATE-GAME MAGIC POSSIBLE IF D.C. SCORES FIRST
The Crew has had success when scoring first against United, but a Black-and-Red goal to open the scoring doesn’t necessarily mean a win for D.C ... Hector Jimenez’s 90th-minute goal gave the Crew a crucial point at home and secured the second batch of late-game Crew magic of 2014 when the teams last met on April 14.
MLSSoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Saturday evening match between D.C. United and the Columbus Crew. What can we learn from the previous two meetings between these two clubs? Will Ben Speas continue to pull the strings in the Columbus attack?
On June 5, 2002, the U.S. Men's National Team began its historic run in the 2002 FIFA World Cup with a 3-1 win over world power Portugal. The team, featuring Crew legends Brad Friedel, Frankie Hejduk and Brian McBride and current coaches Gregg Berhalter and Josh Wolff went on to the tournament's Quarterfinal round.
Columbus Crew midfielder/defender Kevan George was in the active roster for Trinidad & Tobago's friendly against Lionel Messi and Argentina on Wednesday night. George, wearing the number five shirt, came on as a second-half substitute in the 71st minute, replacing Andre Boucaud.
Argentina won the match by a 3-0 final in its capital city of Buenos Aires. George, who earned his sixth cap, helped the Soca Warriors keep Argentina scoreless over the match's final 19 minutes of play.
George and Trinidad & Tobago next face Iran on Sunday in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Photo Credit: Action Images
Play-by-play man Neil Sika and defender Chad Barson join Matt Finkes on 95.5 The Game's BIG Show.
MLSsoccer.com's Nick Firchau and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle take a look at the midweek match between the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake. Can RSL bounce back from their 4-0 loss to Seattle? Will Columbus be the one to dictate the match via possession?
Steve Clark nearly saved the penalty kick attempt against Toronto FC on Saturday that tied the match at 1-1 in the first half. Saturday marked the first time in 2014 -- in match number 13 -- that an opponent of the Black & Gold has earned a penalty kick. The Crew has taken and converted four penalty kicks in 2014 with Federico Higuain scoring three times and Jairo Arrieta adding another. Last season, the Crew went 17 matches before allowing a penalty kick as the LA Galaxy struck twice from the spot on July 4, 2013.
Agustin Viana scored his first goal in his MLS career last Saturday in Toronto. Viana became the seventh Crew player to record a tally in 2014 as he was able to get a head on a Ben Speas corner kick. Viana now has 22 career appearances with the Black & Gold.
Tony Tchani was able to avoid a fifth yellow card last Saturday in Toronto. Because of this, Tchani -- who had four yellows and went three matches without one -- was able to take advantage of the League’s “Good Behavior” clause and had one yellow card expunged. He’s now down to three yellow cards. If Wil Trapp can avoid a yellow in his next appearance, he too will be bumped down to a trio of cautions, but presently enters the week with four.
STRONG TRENDS AGAINST REAL SALT LAKE
The Crew returns home for a test against Real Salt Lake ... despite the loss against Real Salt Lake last year, the Crew has won three of its last four contests against the Utah side ... the Crew is 7-1-0 against RSL at home and has won its last six regular-season clashes between the clubs at Crew Stadium.
MIDFIELD DEPTH SHOWN IN TORONTO
Four Crew players that did not play on May 24 against Chicago featured in the match at Toronto FC last weekend ... two Crew players made their 2014 debut on Saturday in Toronto: Ben Speas earned an assist on his first appearance of the year while Kingsley “Fifi” Baiden made his Crew -- and MLS -- debuts in a substitute appearance ... Daniel Paladini made his first start of the season in the place of Federico Higuain ... Agustin Viana made his second start of the season with Wil Trapp out last Saturday in Toronto.
A SECOND FOR JUSTIN
For the second time this season, Justin Meram has scored a well-placed curling shot to the upper 90 for a Crew goal ... his second tally of the year came in Toronto to open the scoring in the match before he revealed a special note on his undershirt, honoring his Uncle Neil, who suddenly passed away recently ... earlier this season, Meram delivered the game-winning strike in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give the Crew a 2-1 win in Seattle on March 29.
RE-GROUPING BEFORE WEDNESDAY
The Crew looks to rebound following a tough 3-2 loss in Toronto last Saturday ... defender Josh Williams was quick to point out on Saturday that the club can re-focus ahead of Wednesday’s match: “It’s not one guy, I think the defense as a whole needs to get together and regroup. We’ve got a game Wednesday at home, and I know a lot of supporters will be there, so we’ve got to forget this, put it behind us, come out and be ready Wednesday to get three points.”