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Columbus Crew vs. D.C. United: Game preview

One point away from a playoff appearance, D.C. United heads into a huge clash with the Columbus Crew, also battling their way into playoff position.

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

D.C. United finds itself just one point away from the playoffs and in great position heading into a Saturday night clash with the Columbus Crew. The Crew sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point behind the Houston Dynamo and the crucial fifth spot in the playoffs. The Crew will be like caged animals, knowing that a loss would all but ensure they miss the postseason.

Chest Rockwell over at SB Nation's D.C. United blog, Black and Red United, knows this mentality well, and warns against underestimating a team that finds itself in this position:

"We've seen how hard it is to finish off a team that is fighting for their lives. A good recent example is Chivas USA, who came to RFK and put up a real fight to live on for one more day. Once they lost to United, however, they showed how weak they can be without fear as a motivator: Their next match was a 4-0 loss at home to Real Salt Lake. The pressure on the Crew might cause them to play overly desperate, but one thing we can be sure of is that they'll give all of their energy to the cause. Columbus isn't going to go out with a whimper."

The game is set to take place at 7:30 p.m. ET, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. On the strength of four wins in its past five games, United is in terrific position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007, when head coach Ben Olsen was in the Black and Red himself and contributing to the team's attack.