Asinine Alliteration Batman!
Columbus (and a hundred of their most loyal supporters) will make the trip to our nation’s capital this week with only thing on their mind: victory.
The math is a bit complicated, but here’s the only scenario the Crew should be concerned with: Win and you’re in!
Should Columbus defeat DC this weekend and Toronto in Columbus next weekend, a single point dropped by Houston in their final two matches would give Columbus a playoff spot. Losses and ties only complicate things so for now let’s focus on that scenario.
The international break gave a lot of Crew players a chance to rest up and get healthy. Josh Williams has been cleared to play and Rich Balchan is rumored to be in Robert Warzycha’s plans an 18 man squad this weekend. Heck, even William Hesmer made an appearance at training this week! Side note: I could not be more excited have a healthy Rich Balchan back. He should a ton of potential as a rookie last season and I’m anxious to see him playing regularly. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about Williams, but he really is the best option at the back at this point.
So it’s do or die for the Black And Yellow! To set the table for you, DC United has scored just five goals in their last six matches since losing Dwayne de Rasario to injury. Unfortunately they’ve also managed to go 3-0-2 in that stretch and all but cement a playoff spot of their own. So am I trotting out for this MASSIVE fixture at RFK? Let’s take a look…
Miranda – Marshall – James – Williams
Gaven – Mirosevic – Duka
Arrieta – Higuain
It’s time to pull out all the stops. DC is obviously hurting for goals without De Rosario, so scoring should be the No.1 priority for Robert Warzycha. I don’t like how much Higuain has had to come back to get the ball. Mirosevic needs to be the one setting the table for Higuain and Jairo Arrieta. I’m not sure if he can do it all by himself, but I’ve been mildly impressed with TonyTchani as a holding midfielder this season. At 6’4 he’s a nightmare match playing anywhere in front of the back four. Hopefully Dilly Duka and Warzycha have settled their spat so that the U-23 international can get back to being the club’s creative spark on the wing.
A draw is truly no good this weekend. Three points are essential. It’s hard having not seen the Crew play a competitive match for so long, but I have a feeling they will get it done this weekend setting up a favorable home finale with lowly Toronto.
Prediction: Columbus 2-1 DC United