Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - D.C. United interim coach Ben Olsen called Wednesday's loss to the Columbus Crew in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals "cruel," but now the struggling squad will try to bounce back in Major League Soccer on Saturday in a rematch against Columbus.
Columbus used an own goal from Marc Burch in the 89th minute to tie the match, and Guillermo Barros Schelotto added the winning penalty in extra time, as the Crew advanced to the Open Cup final to play Seattle Sounders FC.
United (4-15-3) had its streak of two straight finals appearances snapped, and now the club just has the remaining eight matches of an otherwise abysmal MLS season remaining.
"We'll keep pushing, somehow regroup," Olsen said Wednesday, "then start again on the weekend."
United would establish a record for the worst year in league history should it lose its final eight games, and that's not the only dubious mark the four-time champions are trying to avoid.
D.C. has also been shutout 14 times this season, which is also just one shy of the all-time MLS record. In addition, United needs to score 10 goals to avoid the lowest goal output in a single season.
United designated player Branko Boskovic missed the Open Cup semifinal to join Montenegro for Euro qualifying, and will also missed this weekend's match.
United has just one win in its last 10 MLS matches overall, a 2-0 win over the expansion Philadelphia Union on Aug. 22, and Burch expects a tough match this weekend against the Crew as the team looks for a much-needed spark.
"I think it's going to be a battle," Burch said.
Columbus (12-5-5) returns to RFK Stadium with a chance to overtake Los Angeles for the best overall record in the league. The Crew have finished with the top record the last two seasons, and are just two points behind the Galaxy.
The Crew also won the Supporters? Shield, given to the team with the best mark in MLS, in 2004. With a fourth honor, Columbus would tie United for the league record.
Columbus veteran Frankie Hejduk knows the return trip to D.C. will be just as tough as the midweek match, and this time the Crew will be without Adam Moffet through yellow card accumulation.
"Coming to D.C. is never easy for us," Hejduk said. "[The Open Cup] was one of those games when we all came together and battled and some guys stepped up and had some big games."