Unbeaten in their last 10 games of the regular season, a confident D.C. United side return to Audi Field for the eighth time in their last nine games to host Columbus Crew SC in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Knockout Round on Thursday night.
D.C. United sealed home-field advantage for the Knockout Round and earned the No. 4 seed in the East with a 0-0 draw against the Chicago Fire, coupled with the Philadelphia Union falling to New York City FC, 3-1, on 2018 MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T.
Crew SC, meanwhile, needed a 3-2 win over Minnesota United FC on at MAPFRE Stadium to clinch a playoff berth, jumping ahead of the Union into fifth place.
The teams split two regular-season meetings this season, each holding serve at home with Crew SC winning 3-1 at MAPFRE Stadium on March 24 with Ricardo Clark and Pedro Santos scoring two minutes apart just before halftime after Yamil Asad canceled out Milton Valenzuela’s opening strike.
Three weeks later, D.C. United prevailed 1-0 in a match played at Navy-Marines Corps Memorial Stadium. Ulises Segura scored the lone goal — his first in MLS — in just the first minute and D.C. played almost 40 minutes down a man after Paul Arriola was sent off after Video Review.
This is the fourth all-time playoff meeting between the MLS originals with D.C. United winning the first three, capturing 6-of-the-8 matches played. It is the first postseason encounter since the 1999 Eastern Conference Championship series. D.C. went on to beat the LA Galaxy to capture a third MLS Cup in the league’s first four years.
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