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Massive Predictions: Seattle Sounders at Columbus Crew SC

Sounders are hot, Crew SC are reeling. How does that play out?

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

It hasn’t been the start to the MLS Cup title defense the Seattle Sounders hoped for after winning the league for the first time last December.

The Sounders won one of the team’s first six games to start 2017 and currently sit in eighth place in the Western Conference with 16 points from 13 matches.

Columbus Crew SC meanwhile began the season rather brightly, climbing to the top of the Eastern Conference early in the year, but recently struggled to get victories.

While Seattle has won its last two matches, Crew SC have lost five of its last seven and dropped its last two results, including last Friday’s 5-0 thrashing at the hand of Toronto FC.

The Sounders come to Columbus on Wednesday with only one win on the road this season while the Black & Gold have been good at home with a 4-2-1 record at MAPRE Stadium.

Can Columbus rebound from one of the worst defeats in team history? Will Seattle keep its rise through the West going? Let’s see how our staff believes this one will play out.

Kris Landis

Friday's disaster disguised as match killed the lingering optimism I had after Crew SC's early season successes. After the worst loss in league play the team has ever suffered, you can expect one of two reactions. Either the team will come out like a house on fire and beat up on their next opponent, or they'll be dejected and suffering from a lack of confidence. I really wish I could bring myself to think it will be the former, but I just can't. I see this one going south for the Black & Gold, not quite to the tune of a waffle-stomping, but I don't see this side having much fight in it, especially if Gregg Berhalter decides to send more "messages" and drop players. I see this one being a not so fun match for Crew fans.
Seattle Sounders 2 Columbus Crew SC 0

Patrick Murphy

Friday’s loss to Toronto was certainly bad and it carried on some trends that have seen this team slide down the Eastern Conference ladder. With that said, this match with the Sounders begins a stretch where Crew SC takes on nine consecutive teams currently below the playoff line. If there’s a time to turn things around, it is now.

The Sounders are the MLS Cup winners, but I don’t believe this is a good team. Yes, they went on a run after firing Sigi Schmid and acquiring Nicolas Lodeiro but to me it was about getting hot at the right time and not that something clicked. The beginning of this season has confirmed my thoughts.

Seattle will be without leading scorer Clint Dempsey and fellow forward Jordan Morris. There will still be talent on the field in green, but it’s tough to seeing it all come together.

Columbus has a lot to prove in this one. The players are not happy, as you would imagine, with the loss to TFC. I’ve witnessed more spirited practices this week and I think that will translate into a result. Expect some changes in this game and that will help light a bit of a fire.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Seattle Sounders 1

Nathaniel Marhefka

It's tough to predict anything after the last match. A match I didn't expect the team to win, but what happened — no one expected that. So where do we go with the Sounders? This one is at home, with a team that is traveling across the country. Crew SC also has an extra day of rest on their opponent's. I'm going with the unthinkable and say that Columbus wins this one. If they don't, I'm going to start seriously doubting the season.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Seattle Sounders 1

Josh Enke

I'd like to think there's enough fight in this team to play past Friday's horror show. Personally, I've mostly repressed it from memory. Occasional moments of careless sloppy defending wake me in cold sweat, and what I glean from those fleeting dark images is that it was probably a pretty rough match. But I've bottled it up like any good fan. Moving on. Happy thoughts.

I'll be optimistic here. By and large Crew SC is a team capable of playing very beautiful possession-oriented play. Also demonstrated this season is an ability to counter utilizing diagonal long balls via the central midfield. The Columbus offense is more unpredictable than it was last year. These are good things. Now, THE bad thing. The defense is becoming error prone, and the preferred defensive setup doesn't seem to factor in human error. With that being acknowledged, Jonathan Mensah needs to begin playing like a Designated Player or Alex Crognale needs to be ready to take on the burden of fortifying the back of this Gregg Berhalter system.

This match, though non-conference, is important to the mental state of this team moving into the summer. I expect Ethan Finlay and Artur back starting and Crognale should certainly be considered.

The Sounders look like they're starting to come to life. Probably won't be an easy match for the home side.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Seattle Sounders FC 2

Guilherme Torres

As weird as it may sound, I have a good feeling about Crew SC hosting the defending champions. The Sounders have been extremely inconsistent in 2017, especially on the road, where they lost four of their seven games so far.

Columbus is coming from a rough 5-0 loss to Toronto FC and I think the embarrassment will change the team's attitude (and also its lineup). Seattle's offense can be dangerous, but its defense had flaws, which I believe the Black & Gold will be able to take advantage of.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Seattle Sounders 1

Josh Mlot

Panic in the Crewniverse! After the epic meltdown last week against Toronto, it can only mean one thing... Columbus will bounce back this week. Why? Because nothing is ever as bad as it seems, because the game is at MAPFRE Stadium and because this is MLS. Seattle has been able to grind out a couple of wins the last two weeks, but have otherwise been uninspiring. You always have to worry about a team that puts Nicolas Lodeiro, but it's not a team that intimidates at this point. I think this is a prime opportunity for Crew SC to rebound quickly. Of course, it is a midweek game, so who knows what to expect from player rotation, but it seems more likely to affect the Sounders on a long trip.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Seattle Sounders 1

Patrick Guldan

Crew SC will be very happy to be home after a dreadful road swing. This game is a perfect chance to snap out of a very bad streak. They will be facing Wednesday’s opponent, the Seattle Sounders, at the right time. The visitors will be missing several key players after national team call ups and injuries. Gregg Berhalter has promised change after last Friday’s terrible night in Toronto and it will be interesting to see who he trusts to right the course on the 2017 season and more importantly how he lines them up. I think a chastened Berhalter will revert back to a more balanced lineup and bring in the stabilizing force of Artur.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Seattle Sounders 1

Collin Johnson

Well, it can't get any worse than Friday's match. I really don't know what to expect this week. Seattle will be without Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris, but Columbus haven't played well since beating the New England Revolution back at the beginning of May. Crew SC were embarrassed at Toronto on Friday and desperately need a good showing to revive their hot start to this season. A solid defensive effort (and a few goals) could go a long way toward solidifying the team's form and that's what I expect here.

Play from the wing backs has to be better, and I think Gregg Berhalter will throw in a surprise or two on the Crew SC backline.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Seattle Sounders 1


So there you have it. Do you agree or disagree? Can the Black & Gold right the ship and begin to find some form? Let us know in the comments below.