The Union take on the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew tonight at PPL Park. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. In many ways, you could say that this is the biggest game of the young Union's season. The Crew are the best team in the Eastern Conference and have been one of the dominant teams in MLS over the past 3 years.
The Crew won the MLS title 2008 and won the Supporter's Shield the last two years. The Supporters Shield is given to the team with the most points in the regular season, much like the NHL's President's Trophy. Given that most every major soccer league in the world calls the team who finishes the season with the most points it's champion, many soccer purists count the Crew as two time defending champions.
The Columbus defense is led by defender Chad Marshall, who is a two time MLS defender of the year and has made 11 appearances for the US Men's National Team. He'll actually play for the US next Tuesday when they take on Brazil in a friendly. Columbus have allowed the least amount of goals in the eastern conference and boast the 3rd stingiest defense in the entire league.
The Columbus attack is led by 23 year old winger and US international Robbie Rogers along with 37 year old Argentine midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Since coming to MLS in 2007 Schelotto has been one of the best player sin the league, earning MVP honors in 2008. He's tallied 29 goals & 36 assists in 3 MLS seasons.
The Union have played better as of late, losing just one of their past 5 matches ... unfortunately they've won just two of those games. They currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference