Columbus Crew v DC United, MLS, July 5, 2009
The highlight of the next round of matches in the MLS sees a top of the table contest in the Eastern Conference as the current MLS champions, the Columbus Crew, host DC United at the unimaginatively named Columbus Crew Stadium.
The celebrations of the 4th of July Independence day should give a boost to the matchday atmosphere with the crowd set to be treated to a special post-game fireworks display to close out the holiday weekend.
The Crew arrive to the game after claiming a narrow home win over the New York Red Bulls last weekend. The match was scoreless until the 45th minute when defender Chad Marshall headed his second goal of the season, assisted by Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Schelotto has already bagged a league leading 10 goals this season as well as contributing with three assists.
Marshall and midfielder Robbie Rogers were recently called by the U.S. National Team for Gold Cup duty, leaving the Crew without two of their better players this weekend. On the plus side defender Frankie Hejduk and goalkeeper William Hesmer returned to the Crew’s starting lineup in the last round after missing extended playing time due to injury.
DC United, who are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference, won’t give up their top spot easily, especially after their last league match when they lost 3-0 to Colorado Rapids.
Striker Chris Pontius is the player Columbus must keep an eye on with United coach Tom Soehn recently publicly praised his forward: “His versatility continues to make us a better team, we can move him around in spots where we think he can help us. We’ve moved him around everywhere and he continues to adapt to wherever he has to play.”
101predicts: Columbus Crew 2 – DC United 1