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Massive Predictions: Crew at Seattle Sounders

Do the Black & Gold start 2020 2-0?

SOCCER: JUL 06 MLS - Seattle Sounders FC at Columbus Crew SC Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Columbus Crew SC opened the 2020 Major League Soccer season with a 1-0 win last week against New York City FC at home. That victory came courtesy of new Designated Player signing, Lucas Zelarayan’s fantastic goal. But now the Black & Gold travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Sounders in one of the most intimidating places to play in MLS.

The Sounders also began the 2020 season with a victory, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1. Both of these sides enter this Week 2 game with plenty to prove after less than convincing performances to open the year. The question is, who will prove what they’re made of on Saturday night?

We asked the Massive Report staff to give us their predictions for the match between Seattle and the Crew.

Orri Benatar

Along with FC Dallas vs. the Montreal Impact, the Crew’s game in Seattle late Saturday night is a battle between two perfect teams. The Sounders needed the heroics of Jordan Morris to beat a weak Chicago Fire side while the Crew had the luxury of playing against 10-men the whole time against New York City FC. Neither team was stellar in Week 1 but can be in Week 2.

Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer will likely start Jordan Morris this week, giving Seattle a better chance out of the gate to gain an advantage. They are at home too and CenturyLink Field is a tough place to play. But guess what? The Crew has been decent up in the Emerald City with two wins and a draw in the team’s last four matches in Seattle.

I think the Crew will play a strong game in the midfield and offensively but this will be the first 11 v. 11 match of the season and it’s against the defending champions. They are well-rested and can have their star scorer for a majority of the game. Morris and company will come out strong and give the Crew defense a challenge. I believe it will result in three more Seattle points.
Seattle Sounders 3 Columbus Crew 1

Derrick Smith

In the late tilt between two of the top teams in the league, Seattle’s Jordan Morris causes concern for the Crew’s backline, as he helps get the Sounders ahead early on. However, the lads in yellow are able to counter through Harrison Afful’s overlapping runs , allowing the Crew to equalize late, coming back to Ohio with a point.
Columbus Crew 1 Seattle Sounders 1

Mike Crosky

Mike C

Columbus and Seattle have had some entertaining and back-and-forth battles in recent seasons. The Crew’s 2-1 defeat last year was a heart breaker for Black & Gold fans, as Sounders midfielder Nico Lodeiro scored a goal in second half stoppage time to steal all three points in the standings. Century Link Field is a tough venue to play, especially for teams flying across three time zones. The fatigue and the pacey turf can be a stiff challenge. Though, somehow the Crew seem to perform relatively well there. I think we will see another back and forth match, with both teams coming away with one point in the standings. A draw for Columbus would be a positive result and one Crew fans should be pleased about.
Columbus Crew 1 Seattle Sounders 1

Patrick Murphy

I liked a lot of what I saw from the Crew against New York City in Week 1. I actually think that game was a case of the red card helping the team that went down a man because the visitors just sat back instead of playing soccer and didn’t give the Black & Gold much room to work with. But it wasn’t all perfect.

This week the Crew faces a stiffer test against the defending MLS Cup champions in a tough place to play — assuming the game is played at all. If Week 1 presented a big test, this one will be bigger. Seattle is ahead of most MLS teams thanks to the CONCACAF Champions League and will be looking to build on a subpar Week 1. I think the home team is a bit too much for the visitors in this one but the Black & Gold still feel good about the performance.
Seattle Sounders 2 Columbus Crew 1

Jay Homan

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we expected the Crew to score a couple more goals against a 10-man NYCFC last week. The Black & Gold had chances but were unable to convert them. Now they head to Seattle to face the reigning MLS Cup champions. To face them, the Crew will have to deal with an energetic atmosphere, a night match three time zones away and the team’s first road trip of the season. If this matchup was later in the season or at a more reasonable Eastern Time, I could see Columbus escaping with a point. But right now it is too much too soon.
Seattle Sounders 2 Columbus Crew 1

Andrew Atkins

It’s a tough task traveling to CenturyLink Field, facing the defending MLS Cup Champs and escaping with three points. I believe it’s going to take more than one goal to knock out Seattle, so the Black & Gold are going to have to figure out how to start turning chances into goals.

Thankfully, the soccer gods owe Pedro Santos a goal after he came so close on so many occasions in Week 1. I predict the combination of a hungry Pedro Santos and Lucas Zelarayan will put the Crew up two goals, but defensive mistakes will allow the Sounders to cut the lead in half late in the game. The Crew barely survive with the win, and the prophecy of an undefeated 2020 will continue.
Columbus Crew 2 Seattle Sounders 1

Drew Niccum

This is a tricky match to predict. On the one hand, Seattle is a dominant team at home, in no small part thanks to their raucous crowd, and the Crew has kept a less-than-stellar road record the past few seasons. On the other hand, the Crew actually has a decent record at CenturyLink Field, only losing two of seven meetings in league play. I’m also unsure how big the crowd will be Saturday due to public health concerns over the Coronavirus. Regardless, I think this will be a pretty weird game.

The Sounders started the season in a bit of weird form, being knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League by Olimpia and struggling against the Chicago Fire last week. The real game-changer though is Jordan Morris, and I expect him to get another goal or two again this week, provided he actually starts the match. I think the Crew’s offense will learn from the game against NYCFC, take better advantage of the chances they create and provide more balls to Gyasi Zardes. This will be a weird match depending on the crowd and how the Sounders perform, so I’m going for a draw.
Columbus Crews 2 Seattle Sounders 2

Thomas Costello

Columbus Crew SC and Seattle Sounders are coming off two different types of wins. The Crew played a 10-man side after a third-minute red card that made the game anything but normal. New York City FC hunkered down and there was not a lot of flow to the match. Seattle gave up a 46th minute goal and super sub Jordan Morris had two goals to steal three points in stoppage time. There are a lot of questions about off-field concerns with the Coronavirus: will potentially less crowd support (or possibly none) take away any home-field advantage for the Sounders or will the match be postponed for a later date?

The Crew will have a test playing its first away match, on the West Coast and against defending MLS Cup champions. New defender Vito Wormgoor played well with Jonathan Mensah but is going into this weekend doubtful with both ankle and rib ailments. This opens the door for Josh Williams, which should not bring the defense down as Mensah and Williams have ample experience playing as a duo. The offense was not completely on the same page, which is expected with the amount of new talent, but this club has more than one goal in it against Seattle. The Sounders had a rough exit in the CONCACAF Champions League and gave up a goal against a Chicago Fire club that isn’t predicted to have much of a chance in the standings. The Crew will capitalize and Gyasi Zardes and Lucas Zelarayan will find their way onto the scoresheet.
Columbus Crew 2 Seattle Sounders 0

Dave Hageman

For the second week in a row, the Crew take on a team that already has meaningful CONCACAF Champions League games under its belt but for the first week in a row they’ll be taking on an opponent who’s had a confirmed case of Coronavirus in its building. Should the match go ahead as scheduled (which is subject to change at any minute), the Goldfinches will face a Sounders team coming off a dramatic late-game winner from Jordan Morris against the Chicago Fire. Morris already has three goals and an assist in all competitions and the Sounders have had no problems scoring this year despite the continued absence of Nicolas Lodeiro. With the retirement last year of Crew legend and naked cartwheeler Chad Marshall, the defense hasn’t exactly been robust.

It’s difficult to take much away from the Crew’s victory over NYCFC last weekend, given that almost the entire match was played with the Pigeons down a man. Despite the numerical superiority, the Crew still gave up some chances, particularly in the early going, and the inability to close the game out with a second goal meant that the last few minutes required a bit more sphincter clenching than this Crew fan would have liked. But spirits are high in Crewville and the Black & Gold have historically been relatively successful in Seattle (2-3-2) so the only guarantee in this one is that I’ll likely be asleep before it finishes near midnight on the East Coast. Other than that, I think Seattle will emerge victorious in a closely fought contest but we’ll also get to learn how the Goldfinches fare against a full 11 who should challenge for one of the top positions in the Western Conference.
Seattle Sounders 2 Columbus Crew 1

Collin Johnson

The Crew should be at full strength, or nearly so depending on the health of Vito Wormgoor, when the team travels to Seattle to play the Sounders on Saturday night. Seattle will still be without Nicolas Lodeiro but will have a full cadre of other attacking options. Based on last week’s performance, the Sounders seem to be in their yearly early-season swoon. This is a good sign for Columbus, though away matches are always difficult. On top of all that, who knows whether this game will be played at all due to the presence of COVID-19 in Seattle. If this were a regular week, I’d predict a draw. With travel and game uncertainty, I think the Crew drop its first match of the season.
Seattle Sounders 2 Columbus Crew 0

Guilherme Torres

The Crew goes on the road for the first time this year in what should be one of the most complicated matches in the regular season. Seattle has never been an easy place to play at (even though the Crew has won three and lost just two of its eight matches at CenturyLink Field) and the fact that the Washington area is strongly affected by the Coronavirus situation just adds another layer of complications to the trip.

The Black & Gold performed well in their season opener while the Sounders nearly got outplayed by a subpar Chicago Fire side, so the odds seem to be decent, especially if star playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro remains sidelined due to injury. All in all, I see the Crew coming back with a valuable road point.
Columbus Crew 1 Seattle Sounders 1

Doug Hildreth

Again with the injury issues!? The questionable status of Vito Wormgoor does not help with my confidence going into this next challenge in a tough opening couple of matches. If Wormgoor is good to go, he will definitely bring a significant defensive impact. If not, I’m afraid we might be in for a boat race. Luckily, I think the Crew has the offense to keep up with the Sounders. Last week’s home opener was rife with great offensive chances that didn’t finish due to a little early-season rust and unfamiliarity with each other. As this side becomes more confident in their teammates, look for more of those chances to connect. I expect Lucas Zelarayan to continue his brilliance, as I predict an offensive slug-fest.
Columbus Crew 3 Seattle Sounders 2

Jimmy Lentz

Playing the Seattle Sounders, the 2019 MLS Cup champions, will be a great early-season road test for Columbus Crew SC on the turf at CenturyLink Field. Sounders forward Jordan Morris — who moves in and out of United States Men’s National Team camps — tallied two goals in Seattle’s 2-1 win against the Chicago Fire last Sunday, including the game-winning header in the 93rd minute.

Communication and positioning along the Columbus backline will be critical for 90-plus minutes this Saturday night. Offensively, Lucas Zelarayan will have the undivided attention of Seattle’s midfield and defense after his goal-scoring debut against NYCFC. On the road, the Crew’s No. 10 will need to showcase his individual dribbling skill and distributing vision in equal measure to open up the final third attack on the turf for Columbus.
Columbus Crew 1 Seattle Sounders 1

Nick Hudak

The Black & Gold are off to a flying start in their 2020 hunt for MLS glory. Things certainly aren’t getting any easier, even coming off of a convincing 1-0 win versus one of the favorites for the MLS Cup. This time, a trip out west sees the team in Seattle in a fight with the defending MLS Cup champion, Seattle Sounders.

Their quality showed three minutes into second half stoppage time in Week 1, when forward Jordan Morris found his brace which wound up being the game winning goal in a 2-1 victory against the Chicago Fire. Sure, Columbus saw a narrow victory against a side playing a man down for nearly the entire match. Seattle won’t be as forgiving, and this will be a real test for the Crew.
Columbus Crew 1 Seattle Sounders 1

Thomas Babcock

Well what a unique set of circumstances for the Black & Gold to travel out to Seattle, with concerns about the Coronavirus surrounding whether or not this game will actually happen. If it does, two potential absences may impact this game: Vito Wormgoor is questionable and Nicolas Lidero is out for Seattle. Another player to watch for in this match is Jordan Morris, specifically whether or not he will start or come off the bench like he did in Seattle’s match last week. Either way, Morris started the season strong with a brace and looks to be in dangerous form.

The Black & Gold were able to control possession last week with the help of an NYCFC red card in the third minute. I would not count on that happening again here. This game will be much more evenly matched, as both teams have weapons everywhere that can make the opposition pay. Given the travel demands for the Black & Gold, coupled with playing the defending champs, a draw may be the best the team can hope for.
Columbus Crew 1 Seattle Sounders 1

Dave Lewis

First, NYCFC then the MLS Cup winners on the road. Brutal early season schedule. The home opener was a success, but this week will be a bigger test against the Sounders. Last week, Jordan Morris made the Chicago Fire defenders look like school boys. The dark horse MVP candidate scored a brace after playing only 45 second half minutes. The Crew backline looked organized last week versus 10-men NYCFC. Morris likes to drive to the byline and cross the ball low and hard. Jonathan Mensah and Vito Wormgoor will have to be on their game to make smart clearances. Something feels special about the Crew. I could see them going toe-to-toe with the champs and pulling out a draw which would be massive. Zardes scores.
Columbus Crew 1 Seattle Sounders 1

Do you agree with our predictions? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below.