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  • April 19, 2014
  • • 19:30
  • • Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • Referee: J. Guzmán
  • • Attendance: 11437
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MLS Preview: Columbus Crew - D.C. United

MLS Preview: Columbus Crew - D.C. United

Paul Frederiksen

Coming off back-to-back wins for the first time since 2012, United will look to avenge an emphatic season-opening loss to the Crew.

It was just six weeks ago that the Columbus Crew went to RFK Stadium and rolled to a 3-0 opening-day triumph over D.C. United, but much has already changed.

Following a 3-0-0 start, the Crew have come back down to earth with a loss and a draw in their past two matches. United, meanwhile, has bounced back from a three-game winless stretch to start the year by winning back-to-back matches for the first time since October 2012.

Heading into Saturday's trip to Columbus Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m., MLS Live), United is thriving behind consecutive shutouts secured by reserve goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra and a defense led by veterans Bobby Boswell and Jeff Parke. Although striker Eddie Johnson has yet to open his DCU account, a trade for Chris Rolfe has helped spark the attack.

For the Crew, playmaker Federico Higuain continues to lead the way with his creative flourishes and finishing touch. Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter can also deploy speedster Dominic Oduro, who was suspended for the teams' first meeting and could cause matchup problems for United's older back line.

"Give Gregg a lot of credit in putting a stamp on the team, a real identity as quick as probably anybody," United coach Ben Olsen said. "Higuain is as special as they come in this league, I think Oduro gives them the pace they need up top, and their outside backs bomb forward. The young kid (Wil) Trapp has done very well, fits their system perfectly. They're fun to watch."

Although the Crew are largely healthy, United will again likely be without goalkeeper Bill Hamid (toe), defender Chris Korb (knee) and midfielder Luis Silva (ankle). Midfielder-forward Chris Pontius (hamstring) remains a long-term absentee.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Steve ClarkeGoalkeeper
3Josh WilliamsDefender
4Michael ParkhurstDefender
-Giancarlo GonzálezDefender
14W. FrancisDefender
6Tony TchaniMidfielder
7Bernardo AnorMidfielder
12Hector JimenezMidfielder
20William TrappMidfielder
-Dominic OduroStriker
10Federico HiguaínStriker
28Matt LampsonGoalkeeper
2Tyson WahlDefender
21Chad BarsonDefender
13Ethan FinlayMidfielder
24A. VianaDefender
9Justin MeramMidfielder
19J. ArrietaStriker
-Andrew DykstraGoalkeeper
2Jeff ParkeDefender
5Sean FranklinDefender
32Bobby BoswellDefender
3ChristianDefender
7Eddie JohnsonStriker
8Davy ArnaudMidfielder
14Nick DeLeonMidfielder
23Perry KitchenMidfielder
9Fabian EspindolaStriker
18Chris RolfeStriker
-Joe WillisGoalkeeper
4Nana AttakoraDefender
-Steven BirnbaumDefender
12Alex CaskeyMidfielder
24Lewis NealMidfielder
27Collin MartinMidfielder
30Conor DoyleStriker

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