The Columbus Crew (4-5-6, 18 points) benefited from goalkeeper Steve Clark’s penalty save on striker Fabian Espindola to complete a 0-0 draw with D.C. United (6-4-4, 22 points) at FedExField on Saturday night. With the draw, Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s side enters the 2014 FIFA World Cup break in the Eastern Conference’s fifth and final MLS Cup Playoffs position.
Clark held firm to his line as Espindola attempted a chipped penalty, making the save and preserving the scoreless draw for the Black & Gold. Clark recorded his third clean sheet of 2014 in the effort, which was the Crew’s first scoreless draw since June 16, 2012 at New England.
“He (Clark) is a big-time player, he’s a gamer,” Crew defender Eric Gehrig said. “You know, it takes a lot of guts to just stand there on a PK. He believed in himself and he made the save. It’s big for us.”
The Crew nearly took the lead moments earlier when a blast by Adam Bedell was saved by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who also recorded a shutout, his fourth in 2014 and 24th in MLS.
Columbus now has a three-week break from League play for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group Stage, but next plays in the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, June 17 at Akron’s FirstEnergy Stadium against NASL side Indy Eleven.