Just in case you missed the previous match last week allow me to recap it for you.
Ironically, Columbus welcomes in Seattle this week for a mid-week match at MAPFRE Stadium. The Sounders come off a win which saw them top their Cascadia rivals, the Portland Timbers by a score of 1-0. Seattle got a goal from Cristian Roldan in the fourth minute off a set piece opportunity, which was created from a flick off the head by former Crew SC defender Chad Marshall.
With names like Frei, Roldan, and Lodeiro; who should you look out for?
Let’s take a look at Seattle and how they’ll match-up with the Black and Gold.
Sounders at a Glance:
Record: 4-5-4, 8th in the Western Conference, 1.23 points-per-game
Leading Goal Scorer: Clint Dempsey (40
Assists: Joevin Jones (5)
What to watch for:
Nicolas Lodeiro has been credited as the reason why Seattle’s 2016 season turned around quickly. This coming after the team dismissed Head Coach Sigi Schmid and lost Clint Dempsey for the season. Many teams would have just mailed it in, but Seattle sought out the Uruguayan and the reason is simple, Lodeiro gives the team its attacking personality. He is quite literally all over the pitch.
Lodeiro isn’t the only player with attacking flair in this Sounders lineup. The aforementioned Roldan has been doing some great things this season. He hasn’t always found the scoresheet but he has been incredibly pesky for defenders.
Often they lose sight of Roldan and he tends to show up right on the front doorstep for goal. Given the spotty defending of the Columbus defense, Roldan’s presence could prove problematic.
Another player that could pose an issue for Crew SC is the Cuban international Osvaldo Alonso. He has been notoriously a thorn in the side of the Black & Gold. Not only is he gifted on the ball, but he is quite a physical midfielder who thrives on the psychological portion of his game.
The outside back is perhaps one of the cornerstones of which the Seattle offense is built upon. He is the team leader with five assists, and coming from an outside back that is impressive. Since Seattle like to attack with width it makes sense that Jones has incredible success within Schmetzer’s system.
He is a wing back with the capability of getting up and down the field with tremendous ease. He loves to push into the final third and he is a dynamite crosser with good instincts. His defense isn’t lackluster either as he is a very heads-up defender who has the tendency of keeping his man contained for the whole match.
The former MLS Cup MVP has come up big for the Sounders this year. Frei is capable of achieving that momentum swinging save, but unfortunately his defense has been too inconsistent in front of him.
How Crew SC win:
Where do I even begin with this one?
How about getting a shot-on-target? Just one. Against Toronto, Crew SC failed to log a shot on target.
Wil Trapp has to play better. Many will question whether the absence of Artur is one of the contributing factors in captain’s lack of form, but Trapp needs to be better pure and simple. I watched him absolutely get muscled off of a ball last week and that cannot happen when he is in charge of shielding the back-line from the opposing attack.
Jonathan needs to show why he is a Designated Player. Too many times this season he has been caught playing “turnstile defense” because he wasn’t properly tracking his man and lost sight of him. The natives are getting restless and with an up-and-comer like Alex Crognale waiting in the wings things could get interesting going forward.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter needs to strongly consider playing (or acquiring) a second striker to support Ola Kamara. The offense has become entirely too predictable and it’s time for a change. His standard 4-2-3-1 isn’t cutting it as coaches like Patrick Viera, Greg Vanney, and Veljko Paunović demonstrated.
Al Davis said it best, “Just Win Baby” and that’s all Crew SC should focus on. Columbus are 4-2-1 at MAPFRE Stadium. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but you just have to score one more than the opposition. A win on Wednesday night in front of the home fans would do a world of good for the supporters in Black and Gold.