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Caleb Porter admits his side can have no excuses for their heavy loss to New York City FC and the only way to respond is by putting in an improved display against D.C. United.

The Crew were given a reality check last week as their six-game unbeaten run was ended with a 4-1 loss at the hands of NYCFC.

Porter did not hold back when analyzing his side’s most recent outing, but they have a chance to quickly hit back when United visit Lower.com Field for a midweek clash.

“It was disappointing. It’s not a couple players, it’s the entire team, the coaches; it’s everyone,” he said. “It’s a game where we didn’t really do much well, and it’s disappointing.

“It’s embarrassing in some ways. But here’s what I’ll tell you. Having been in this league long enough to understand, these games happen, and we don’t accept it.

“We take accountability for it and responsibility for it. It starts with me. We’re not going to make excuses for it. We’ll take it on the chin, we accept it, and we need to learn from it.”

United enter this game unbeaten in three matches after playing out a stalemate with Cincinnati last weekend.

Moses Nyeman and Joseph Mora were sent off in that game to give head coach Hernan Losada even fewer players to choose from against the Crew.

And the 39-year-old, who has had to deal with the loss of numerous players through injuries, international call-ups and suspension, joked he will consider playing himself this week.

“I’m going to have to put the cleats on and be on the bench,” he said. “The effort of this whole group has been huge. I couldn’t be more proud of the fighting spirit of this team.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Columbus Crew – Pedro Santos

Santos’ strike deep into added time was pretty much the only positive for Columbus from their defeat against New York City FC, with that his first goal of the 2021 campaign. The Portuguese winger, who has been asked to fill in at left-back for a handful of games, also has three assists and is showing glimpses of what he is capable of.

D.C. United – Bill Hamid

United have kept back-to-back shutouts and have six clean sheets to their name overall this season. Hamid has been between the sticks for five of those and is now seventh on the list of all-time MLS clean sheets with 75. If Columbus are to win, they need to find a way past the USA international.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– D.C. United have won only one of their last 13 visits to Columbus (D3 L9) dating back to 2008, a 1-0 victory in April 2019. D.C. have won just four matches at Columbus since July 1999, keeping a clean sheet in all four wins. D.C. have not won any of the last 25 matches in which they conceded a goal in Columbus.

– The Crew played a scoreless draw against Nashville in their last home match on July 21. Columbus, who have lost just one of their last 26 home matches (W19 D6, including playoffs), have not gone back-to-back home games without a victory since a run of three straight draws in August 2019.

– United played a scoreless draw at Cincinnati on Saturday despite finishing with just nine men, becoming the first team in nearly two years to keep a clean sheet despite having multiple players sent off. The last team to do so was FC Cincinnati against D.C. United in October 2019.

– The Crew’s 4-1 defeat at NYCFC was the first time they have allowed four goals in a match since losing 4-0 at LA Galaxy in July 2018, ending a streak of 93 straight games holding opponents under four goals, including playoffs. It was the longest active streak in MLS, a mark now held by Los Angeles FC (90 since July 2018).

– Bradley Wright-Phillips has scored 12 career goals against D.C. United, all with New York Red Bulls beginning in 2014, though he has not scored against D.C. since September 2018. Those 12 goals are tied for the most by one player against a single team since the start of the 2014 season, along with Wright-Phillips against NYCFC and Kei Kamara against CF Montreal.

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