A rematch of last year's MLS Cup will take place when the Seattle Sounders visit the Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field. The Crew defeated the Sounders 3-0 to win their firsts title in 12 years.
Seattle is atop the Western Conference with 39 points and are coming off of a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas, stretching their unbeaten run to four matches in all competitions.
Columbus has lost five matches in a row, the longest losing streak for a defending champion in 15 years. Their latest defeat came on Tuesday, when they were beaten 1-0 by the New York Red Bulls.
The Crew will be without Artur, Luis Diaz, Marlon Hairston and Josh Williams for this match while Perry Kitchen underwent back surgery and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Gyasi Zardes has a soft tissue injury and it's unclear if he will be fit enough to feature.
Jordan Morris has started to run again and is ahead of schedule with his rehab from an ACL injury while goalkeeper Stefan Frei is a confirmed absentee. Nouhou has been upgraded and is now only seen as doubtful.
Columbus: Room; Afful, Keita, Mensah, Francis; Nagbe, Fraser; Molino, Zelarayán, Santos; Wright-Phillips
Seattle: Cleveland; Arreaga, Gómez, O'Neill; Smith, Rowe, Lodeiro, C. Roldan, A. Roldan; Montero, Ruidíaz
Ones to watch
Raul Ruidiaz has an MLS-leading 14 goals, his career-high and his next tally will make him just the third Sounders player to score 15 times in a single season, joining Obafemi Martins, who did it in 2014 and 2015 and Clint Dempsey, who also accomplished the feat in 2014.
Lucas Zelarayan scored twice in the MLS Cup final last year and is a danger on set-pieces, but he's scored just once in his last seven matches and with Zardes likely out, he'll be looked upon with even more importance.
As mentioned above, the Crew defeated the Sounders to win the franchise's second championship. A brace from Zelarayan and a goal from Derrick Etienne Jr. sealed the title. Columbus has lost just once in their last five home matches against Seattle, outscoring them 11-5 in that stretch.
How to watch
The match will be televised nationally on FOX. Spanish-language coverage is available on FOX Sports Deportes with kick-off set for 5:30pm Eastern time.