A closer look at the series history between the Union and Eastern Conference foe Columbus
If Red Bull Arena is a hexed venue, then Crew Stadium isn't far behind.
Philadelphia has yet to win or draw in Columbus since joining Major League Soccer in 2010.
The Union is 0-3-0 in Ohio and 2-5-0 all-time against Robert Warzycha's team. Saturday's matchup will be the only trip to Columbus this year, and it's an opportunity for the Union to snap a two-game losing skid against the Crew.
Columbus took last year's season series 2-1. While the two clubs played three times in 2012, there will only be two games with the Crew in 2013.
1. August 5, 2010 Columbus 2 Philadelphia 1 (PPL Park)
Goals: Lenhart 43', 50' Le Toux 45' (PK)
John Hackworth once referred to Steven Lenhart as a "union-killer", and this is the game where that phrase was established.
The current San Jose striker was a handful for the Union defense, scoring this beauty of a diving header to complete his brace.
You thought the Union might get something out of this game after Sebastien Le Toux's first half penalty kick, but a talented and stacked Crew team locked down the Philadelphia offense after Lenhart's second goal.
2. October 4, 2010 Columbus 3 Philadelphia 1 (Crew Stadium)
Goals: Schelotto 15' (PK), Renteria 42', Mendoza 79', Le Toux 87'
The final game of the 2010 season, the Crew were playing for the Eastern Conference crown and the Union were playing for pride.
Columbus dominated the game, taking a two goal lead into half time before Andres Mendoza made it three-nil on the 79th minute.
The thing you might remember from this game is Le Toux's late goal, which was scored against Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven. With no subs remaining, goalkeeper William Hesmer had to leave the game injured in the 85th minute. Gaven threw on Andy Gruenebaum's shirt and made a nice stop before Le Toux's blast sailed right by him. (5:30 on the link)
3. August 20, 2011 Columbus 2 Philadelphia 1 (Crew Stadium)
Goals: Renteria 37', Paunovic 42', Mendoza 51' (PK)
This was a great game, marred by a tough PK call in the second half.
It started with a bizarre goal from Emilio Renteria, who got the slightest of touches on a loopy cross from Robbie Rogers. With four Union defenders in sight, the ball spun away from Faryd Mondragon and somehow rolled into the far post to give Columbus a 1-0 lead.
Veljko Paunovic had pegged back the equalizer for Philadelphia off a Keon Daniel corner kick, but the penalty was awarded for a soft handball on Sheanon Williams in the 50th minute. With Rogers again finding space on the left, the Union right back tucked his right arm into his chest, taking the cross at point blank range. Even though his hands were inside his body, the referee called for the PK. Mondragon got a hand to Mendoza's shot, but the ball squirted through for the game winning goal.
4. September 17, 2011 Philadelphia 1 Columbus 0 (PPL Park)
Goals: Le Toux 32'
Philadelphia's first win against the Crew came at a critical time, with both teams fighting for position in a jam-packed Eastern Conference.
The Union defense, which had struggled to regain its early season form, earned a franchise first clean sheet against Columbus.
Le Toux's goal was a thing of beauty – a perfectly weighted ball from Roger Torres that the Frenchman slotted past a hesitant William Hesmer.
5. April 14, 2012 Philadelphia 1 Columbus 0 (PPL Park)
Goals: Gomez 38' (PK)
It was ugly as all get-out.
30 fouls, six yellow cards, three total shots on goal, and the Union's first win of 2012.
The only thing to take away from this game is Gabriel Gomez' "panenka" penalty kick. It was the first Union PK not to be taken by Sebastien Le Toux, and it was a gutsy effort. Here's a good angle from the western end of the stadium.
6. August 29, 2012 Columbus 2 Philadelphia 1 (PPL Park)
Goals: Valdes 29', Williams 41', Gaven 90+'
A tough one to swallow with a stoppage time winner for the 10-man Crew.
It started well enough, with Carlos Valdes opening the scoring with a deflected free kick in the 29th minute.
Josh Williams bagged the equalizer from a Federico Higuain set piece, then received a red card for an off-the-ball incident involving Antoine Hoppenot and Danny O' Rourke.
With the man advantage Philadelphia pressed, putting 20 total shots and goal and searching for a late game winner. That pressure backfired in the 95th minute, with Higuain and Justin Meram linking up to find Gaven for the deflating winner.
7. September 29, 2012 Columbus 3 Philadelphia 2 (Crew Stadium)
Goals: Arrieta 44', 50', Cruz 65', McInerney 86', Mirosevic 87'
Another late winner for the Crew, this time on a blown offside call.
With the playoffs out of the picture, Philadelphia battled back from a two goal deficit in an effort to take a point from Columbus on the road.
But Milovan Mirosevic was credited with the winner in the 87th minute after a scrum at the edge of the penalty area.
Fast forward to 7:30 and see for yourself: Mirosevic offside
Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at firstname.lastname@example.org