Apparently, head coach Ben Olsen didn't get the memo.
This isn't 2013...nor 2011...nor 2010 for that matter.
Following the worst regular season in MLS history—one followed by a complete offseason makeover—D.C. United were expected to turn over a new leaf. The acquisitions of Bobby Boswell and Jeff Parke were hailed as the cure for the club's defensive woes. Eddie Johnson and Fabian Espindola were brought to restore health to an impotent attack.
Instead, the same Black and Red who suffered the worst goal differential in the Eastern Conference last season (minus-37) picked up right where they left off.
Zero goals and a slew of defensive errors plagued United's opener.
It wasn't a just a 3-0 loss at RFK stadium; this bordered on assault.
The Crew strung together 505 intricate passes that allowed them to dominate 57.2 percent of the possession in Week 1. An above-average 40.9 percent of their crosses accurately landed, and five of their nine shots were on target. D.C. only managed to muster one on frame.
It came just a few touches from the center circle.
The defense didn't fare any better, either.
A refurbished back four was unable to handle Columbus' probing attack. The ferocity and deadliness of the Crew's first-touch distribution was delivered with enough pace to leave the United defense bewildered. Perry Kitchen's takedown of Michael Parkhurst inside the area was just the icing on the cake.
According to United's Nick DeLeon, per the club's official website, getting on the same page remains an issue for the Black and Red:
Yeah, we definitely shouldn't lose 3-0, but it is what it is. We have to stay positive. We have a good group of guys with talent. It is a lot of new pieces, so it might take a bit for us to all get together on the same page.
It didn't take much time for Columbus' new pieces to get on the same page, though. The Crew debuted a back line featuring Waylon Francis, Giancarlo Gonzalez and Michael Parkhurst in Week 1. Parkhurst hadn't faced competition on this side of the pond since 2008, and the Costa Rican duo of Francis and Gonzalez made its MLS debut Saturday night. The trio more than held its own en route to a clean sheet.
Fortunately for D.C., two weeks remain before the club either performs or invents the latest excuse.