Columbus Crew SC needed to rebound with a convincing home performance after suffering a record breaking loss. The Sounders were happy to try and hold on and steal a result as they suffered a very depleted roster that featured five changes from their Saturday win. The Black & Gold would leave no doubt by the end as the goals came early and the defense held tight against a Seattle team missing Chad Marshall, Clint Dempsey, and
Crew SC struck early with opprotunistic defense as Hector Jimenez intercepted a pass out of the Seattle back and clipped the resulting 50/50 ball to Federico Higuain. The Argentine took two touches and fired a right footed shot into the far corner of Stefan Frei’s goal to give Columbus the early 10th minute lead.
The goal was Higuain’s 44th in Black & Gold and moved him into a tie for 3rd with Stern John in the team’s all time goal scoring charts.
Columbus would tally a second just 11 minutes later. Wil Trapp picked up the ball in the back third and would immediately find Justin Meram at the midfield stripe. The winger would dribble through the transitioning Seattle defense towards the 18 yard box. When the Sounder back line kept backing off, Meram would launch a long shot into the far corner, a mirror image of Higuain’s goal to give Crew SC a 2-0
Ola Kamara nearly added a third right after halftime in the 51st minute. With the Sounders pushing for goals, the defense opened up and Crew SC broke on the counter. Meram slipped the ball into Kamara as he broke past the line. Kamara’s shot rang off the post and the Sounders cleared.
Seattle’s first good chance came in the 57th minute as Nicolas Lodero would take matters into his own hands and blasted a shot forcing a Zach Steffen parry. Crew SC would easily clear the resulting corner.
Crew SC would finish off the game in the 59th minute as Meram would take a give and go pass from Higuain and slice through the tired Seattle midfield. He then put a perfectly weighted pass in the perfect spot for Kamara to fire from the top left corner of the box and kiss it off the far post to make it 3-0.
Higuain earned a secondary assist on the play and joined Jeff Cunningham and Brian McBride as the only players to tally 40 goals and 40 assists in their Crew SC career.
Seattle would nearly break the shutout in the 71st minute as Alvaro Fernandez was fed a ball in on goal and pushed a low shot to the far side of goal, but Steffen had read the play and closed the angle and smothered the ball with an excellent reaction save.
Crew SC proceeded to close out the game with a tight defensive effort that held the Sounders to zero shots for the last 19 minutes and stoppage. It was a professional win and outstanding response.
Five. That was the number of shots on goal that Crew SC recorded after being blanked in Toronto. The attacks flowed freely as Columbus ensured all three points.
When it was over:
Seattle was forced into significant lineup changes and Crew SC struck twice in the first 21 minutes. Meram’s goal to make it 2-0 effectively ended the Sounders hopes.
Crew SC move to 7-7-1 on the season with 22 points as they kept pace with the log jam for the Eastern Conference playoff spot. They now head to Colorado to take on the Rapids on Saturday, June 3rd at 9pm Eastern.