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Need to Know Basis: Seattle Sounders at Columbus Crew SC

It's everything you need to know to make you the smartest person at the match.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night's contest between Columbus Crew SC and the Seattle Sounders will be the ninth all-time meeting between the two sides since the Sounders were introduced to Major League Soccer in 2009.

Seattle leads the all-time series with a 4-2-3 record against Columbus, but the Black and Gold have won two of the last three matches, including last year's dramatic 2-1 victory that featured a stoppage time go ahead goal from Justin Meram.

The Rave Green have never lost at MAPFRE Stadium, with former Crew SC head coach Sigi Schmid possessing a 3-0-1 record in Columbus since taking over for the Sounders.

Seattle currently sit in third in the Western Conference with a record of 5-2-1 and 16 points. Columbus is in fourth in the Eastern Conference after a 3-3-2 start to the season.

The game should be an open affair as these are two of the highest scoring teams in the league. The Sounders have scored 13 goals in eight games, while the Black and Gold have found the back of the net 12 times. The Rave Green have been shutout just twice on the year, Columbus failed to score three times this season.

The Seattle attack is diverse and well publicized. U.S. National Team forward Clint Dempsey leads the line alongside former Internazionale striker Obafemi Martins. The duo have combined for 11 goals and six assists this year and Martins' six strikes lead the league.

Although the names may not be as recognized league-wide, Crew SC have plenty of attacking options as well. Forward Kei Kamara leads the team with five goals, but Meram and Ethan Finlay both have multiple goals already this year and Finlay leads the team with four assists.

The game marks the return of former Black and Gold legend, Chad Marshall, who arrives back at MAPFRE Stadium for the first time since he was traded prior to the 2014 season. Since that time, Marshall won his third MLS Defender of the Year and helped the Sounders to the Supporter's Shield a year ago.

The match kicks off at 7:30 tonight. Check back at Massive Report for all the post-game coverage.

Lineups

Columbus Crew SC vs Seattle Sounders - Football tactics and formations