Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, May 10th – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Columbus 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – Seattle 19/10
The Crew sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, while Seattle are placed in third in the Western. This match has the potential to be an absolute classic as two of the league’s most attacking sides face off.
Columbus Crew come into this one on the back of a defeat to Eastern Conference rivals DC United, following a 2-0 defeat at RFK Stadium last week. No wins away from home for Columbus is part of the reason they aren’t closer to the top of the fiercely competitive Eastern.
At home they are a real force though and Columbus have scored seven goals in their last two home games before the defeat last week.Embed from Getty Images
They finished third last season, and will be hoping for a playoff spot again this season as they look to win their first trophy since 2009, when they won the Supporters’ Shield.
Kei Kamara has been in scintillating form for Columbus since coming back to MLS after his brief spell in England, netting five times so far this season. With Justin Meram adding three goals as second top scorer, goals are coming from all directions for the Black and Gold.
Goals might be no easy feat this weekend though as Seattle have conceded just the six times this season. half of those coming in that shock defeat at home to San Jose Earthquakes.
Seattle Sounders have been very impressive since their defeat to LA Galaxy, winning three on the bounce, with an excellent away victory at New York City FC last weekend keeping their spirits high. Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey were both on the scoresheet yet again, demonstrating how key they are to this dominating Seattle side.
Lamar Neagle is the only other player to have netted for the Sounders this season still, and although the over reliance on Martins and Dempsey is proving to be successful, how long can they keep up this impressive run?Embed from Getty Images
Next week they head to Vancouver in another tricky looking away game before the home ties treacle in for Seattle as they look to cement the top spot in the Western once again this year and make a strong case for winning MLS Cup after falling short last season.
A tough defence to break down and a red hot front line is what is keeping Seattle at the top of their game, and even when Dempsey missed a few games through injury earlier in the season, they still pulled out all the stops to pick up points in those games.
The reverse fixture last year saw Columbus Crew beat the Sounders 2-1 their second consecutive win in Seattle.
Columbus Crew could be without Wil Trapp, who continues to battle with concussion symptoms, as well as Ben Speas who has been battling a hamstring strain.
Seattle, for a second week in a row, have no injury concerns and look as strong as ever.
Columbus Crew’s last five: D/D/W/W/L
Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/L/W/W/W
Key Stat: Columbus Crew have never beaten Seattle Sounders in a home fixture in MLS.
Key Man: Obafemi Martins – The Nigerian striker has six goals this season and can’t stop scoring when him and Dempsey are on the pitch. Goals are ensured to follow and he will hope to add to his tally in Columbus on Saturday night.Embed from Getty Images
Columbus Crew 1-2 Seattle Sounders – A hard fought match for both teams that will see just a goal separate them. Seattle look to have found their stride and could prove too strong for the Crew in this one.