With a congested fixture list and players missing due to international duty, Seattle Sounders FC head coach Brian Schmetzer decided to experiment with his line up away at Columbus Crew SC. It did not work as the Crew came away with a 3-0 win over the Sounders, which sent Seattle sliding back to the bottom half of the Major League Soccer standings.
Columbus starts quickly
The Crew had been coming off their worst defeat in their history last week Friday and looked to amend that result immediately against a depleted Sounders side.
Ten minutes into the game, Tony Alfaro gave the ball away deep in his own half to Héctor Jiménez who quickly shifted the ball to Federico Higuaín in space at the top of the box. The Argentine is deadly from that sort of range and tonight was no different as he ripped an effort that went low into the far corner to put Columbus one goal up. The Sounders could have leveled the game up three minutes later when a giveaway came to Nicolás Lodeiro and he found Seyi Adekoya inside the box. The Sounders striker for the night cut the ball onto his right foot but shot wide of the near post to keep the score at 1-0 to Columbus.
Justin Meram made Seattle pay for that miss in the 21st minute, as he picked up the ball near midfield and ran with it before firing away past the diving Stefan Frei. From then on, Columbus took control of the game. Both Higuaín and Meram had opportunities to put the Crew even further ahead but Frei was there to stop Meram's effort and Higuaín sent his well over the crossbar.
Seattle try to come back into the game before Kamara seals the win
In the second half, the Sounders started off with a higher tempo and better determination to win the second ball in midfield. Although Ola Kamara almost made it three-nil to Columbus in the 51st minute but he watched his effort come off the post and away. In the 57th minute, Lodeiro tested Zac Steffen's agility as the goalkeeper had to dive well to his right to keep the Uruguayan's long range effort out of his goal. Kamara then found his goal in the 59th minute when he was played through nicely by Meram and finished well low into the far corner.
Seattle continued to threaten the Columbus goal and Steffen had to be sharp to stop Álvaro Fernández later in the second half by coming out quickly to close down the midfielder. Lodeiro then had a late free-kick go narrowly over the goal as the Sounders tried to find the consolation goal but it was not to be and the Crew came away with a big three points.