With a marquee team in town, a big crowd expected, and a disappointing loss the week before, it was a chance for Crew SC to prove a point to themselves and the league. Message received, point proven. 3-2 to the Black and Gold.
The match was a track meet from the beginning, as fans were still finding their seats when Kei Kamara opened the scoring. Ten minutes in, left back Waylon Francis found Kamara on a cross and the striker headed the ball by Stefan Frei for the early 1-0 advantage.
Columbus controlled much of the early portion of the match, possessing the ball and creating chance. The front four's interchanging of positions gave headaches to Seattle center backs Chad Marshall and Brad Evans - both former Crew SC players.
Of course with talent like the Sounders have up top - Clint Dempsey and Obfemi Martins - all it takes is one chance. That's what the Rave Green got in the 24th minute when Dempsey received a pass with a little bit of space and made Columbus pay with a rocket shot from outside the 18-yard box.
After the goal, Seattle seemed to settle into the game a bit and began to control the ball a little more. The game was tied at the break, but the Sounders had flipped the early possession back in their favor.
It didn't take the Black and Gold long in the second half to turn things back around.
After a corner kick went long outside of the 18-yard box, Hector Jimenez, starting at right back, delivered a cross that reached Federico Higuain. The Crew SC maestro collected the ball before dribbling into the box by a few Seattle defenders and firing a shot through legs that found it's way into the back of the net for the 2-1 advantage.
In the 58th minute, Columbus added a third goal that proved vital, once again through Kamara. After Justin Meram spun his defender out wide, the winger delivered a low cross that initially seemed to miss everyone. Jimenez put it back into the six-yard box and Kamara was there to flick it home for a 3-1 lead.
The Sounders were not done though and pulled one back in the 75th minute in controversial fashion. A ball played into the box initially appeared to be too early for Martins. The striker kept playing, and the whistle never blew, but his shot was stopped by goalkeeper Steve Clark. The rebound fell right to Dempsey, who also many have been offside, and he tucked it away for his second of the night.
The Black and Gold seemed rattled after allowing a goal they believed shouldn't have stood and Seattle came at them. Columbus was able to withstand the pressure though and hold on for a hard-fought three points.
It's another Western Conference opponent next week in the San Jose Earthquakes, but this time the game is on the road Saturday night.