Over the next five weeks, TheCrew.com will be unveiling its Match of the Year nominees every Monday leading-up to a fan poll that opens on December 12. Here is your first nominee, the Crew's first-ever win against Seattle Sounders FC:
Since leaving Columbus for the expansion Seattle Sounders FC following his MLS Cup win in 2008, Sigi Schmid had always had his former team's number having never lost to the Black & Gold in the teams' first seven meetings. That all changed on a cool Wednesday night in the Emerald City as a Crew side riding the momentum from a weekend draw in San Jose stunned the nearly 40,000 fans in attendance at CenturyLink Field with a 2-0 smash-and-grab victory over the Sounders.
Outpossessed and outshot by substantial margins, it took an entire team effort to secure the three points in the Sounders' hotstile home. Andy Gruenebaum burst into the national spotlight with his six saves on the evening to record the clean sheet, while Justin Meram and Emilio Rentería provided the scoring on Columbus' only two shots on-frame that night. Cole Grossman made his first career start, replacing the injured Milovan Mirosevic in Robert Warzycha's starting 11. Rookie Kevan George got his first taste of MLS, coming on just before the halftime whistle to replace Danny O'Rourke who suffered a sprained ankle in the action.
The Crew's first-ever win over Seattle provided one of the most memorable matches of the 2012 season, but will it be enough to earn your vote for Match of the Year?
Match of the Year candidates:
Nominee #1 - May 23, 2012 - Seattle Sounders 0 - Columbus Crew 2 RECAP
Nominee #2 - Released November 12
Nominee #3 - Released November 19
Nominee #4 - Released November 26
Nominee #5 - Released December 3
Nominee #6 - Released December 10
Voting takes place December 12-16. The winning match will be announced on Monday, December 17.