Seattle Sounders FC (2-2-2) vs. Columbus Crew (2-0-1) at Qwest Field, Seattle.
All-time record: Seattle leads the all-time series 1-0-1
What's at stake?
After a disappointing road trip, Seattle need to get back on track at home against coach Sigi Schmid’s old team. Columbus, last season’s Supporters' Shield champions, offer a stern test. Crew talisman Guillermo Barros Schelotto leads the team with three goals in three games, but it is uncertain whether he will play on the artificial surface of Qwest Field. He was a substitute last season.
A rare missed penalty from Schelotto stole the headlines in the teams’ last meeting. Normally automatic from 12 yards, the Argentine missed the crucial PK as the Crew dropped a 1-0 decision at home late in the season. Seattle’s Roger Levesque bagged an opportunistic goal for the winning margin.
Remember when …
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Tyrone Marshall used their cleats to destroy the penalty spot before Schelotto’s kick—a piece of gamesmanship that may have been worth two points in the final standings.
Heroes & Villains
Steve Zakuani vs. Frankie Hejduk: Much like last season, Steve Zakuani has been responsible for much of the Sounders offense. He’ll match up against wily Crew right back Frankie Hejduk, a former national-team player. Watch Hejduk’s positioning – if he makes his trademark runs up the right side of the field, he will force Zakuani to defend or possibly leave Columbus open for counterattacks.
Tyrone Marshall vs. Steven Lenhart: During the Crew’s visit to Seattle last season, Marshall was ejected for a forearm shiver to the burly Columbus striker. Can the two boys play nicely this time around?
2009 Pat Noonan vs. 2010 Pat Noonan: Pat Noonan’s exceptional cross to Alejandro Moreno gave Columbus its goal at Qwest Field last season. Can he match that performance in Rave Green in 2010?
Stat that makes you go “Hmm …”
The unbalanced schedule continues to confuse. Seattle comes into the weekend having played twice as many games (six) as Columbus (three).
He said it
“We need points, but—like I said before—the Toronto game was a massive step forward for us playing-wise. I think we are much more confident as a team now.” – Seattle's Freddie Ljungberg after training on Thursday.