MLS: New-Look DC United Undone by Columbus Crew

By Aydin Reyhan
Federico Higuain Bags a Brace
Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

DC United is a team that most of us were excited to watch ahead of the new MLS season. With new players such as Sean Franklin (right back), Bobby Boswell (center back), Fabian Espindola (striker) and Eddie Johnson (striker) all joining their ranks, the play-off experience is finally there … but their meshing on the field was absolutely nowhere to be found.

Their opponents, the Columbus Crew, added one major piece in US international Michael Parkhurst, who is a right back that plied his trade in Norway and even enjoyed some minutes in the UEFA Champions League. His job was to lock down Johnson and he absolutely shut him down. He actually made him look like an overrated designated player.

Striker Higuain showed some new-found energy as he was able to sprint all around the final third and managed to bag a brace via a penalty and one form open play in the final minute of action. He did have some help from Jairo Arrieta who turned home a brilliant cross that curled around the defense into his path from right back Josh Williams.

The sweetest aspect of Columbus’ game was how they passed the ball flawlessly and did not even have to try to hard to break down the defense of DC. Speaking of which, they have seasoned veterans in Franklin and Boswell who are solid in their respective positions in the back line. However, they are still getting accustomed to the different style in DC as opposed to Los Angeles and Houston where they respectively played prior to their new adventure.

DC also failed to communicate on and off the ball. Espindola would be up top trying to pressure the entire back line alone while his teammates sat in the heart of the midfield looking to stop another Crew attack. This team needs to step it up when it comes to communicating one and off the ball. If they can actually learn to mesh, they will truly be dangerous. However, they still need a brilliant play-maker to lead them up the field.

The Crew won the game by a score of 3-0 as they were simply the better side throughout. They went into slightly hostile territory and managed to hand the hosts a huge blow. If they play this well on the road, it is easy to imagine what will happen in Ohio. In fact, if they play like that, putting their name up there as a favorite to win the MLS Cup is not out of the question.

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