Team Rave Green is back at home to host the Columbus Crew. I don’t know much about the Crew. We stole Sigi and Evans back in 2009, and we beat them in their house down a man last year. Columbus look hot this season. They dismantled the new-look D.C. United (though Ben Olson might be to blame for that), and they played great against an improved Philly side. The Crew are tied for the Shield lead, and have the second-best goal differential on the young season.
This might be a trap game (or Trapp game, get it?). If I played on the Crew, I’d want revenge for last year’s embarrassment. I’d love to come out and show the league I’m for real by beating the mighty Sounders in their house. And maybe Seattle is coasting after a comfortable win, or looking ahead to Portland. Maybe we’re distracted by the upcoming USMNT call-ups, and we still lack Dempsey and the Captain. I’d love to win, but I’m not comfortable predicting a win.
I’m also uncomfortable predicting a line-up. Will Sigi continue to spin the carousel of shape? I’d love to see more of the 4-3-3. Our charts and graphs back up having our goal-creation come from the wide forwards, not the midfield, but I’m terrified we’ll see Pappa tomorrow. Will Leo reclaim his left back position, and is he 100% recovered enough to replace the pace of Remick? Leo is a HUGE improvement as a defender, possibly one of the most underrated Sounders, but Remick is a real asset charging forward to join the attack. I’d like to think Leo’s late shot on goal against Montreal shows he’s game to get offensive.
Will players be rested due to the USMNT call-ups and the upcoming Cascadia clash down at Jeld-Wen Providence Park (which cracks me up. Portland’s jersey sponsor is a Seattle-based company and now their field’s is as well)? Evans’s injury and Dempsey’s suspension don’t complicate the matter, but DeAndre Yedlin’s call-up is problematic. Does Sigi want to rest Yedlin? Will Anibaba play right on Saturday to spell Yedlin? Can Anibaba join the attack from the right back position? He is one of the last All-New All-Different Sounders still waiting for a debut.
Andy Rose played great in his maiden voyage of 2014. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but Rose was impressive on Sunday. He is one of those players for whom it clicked. Caskey and he used to be interchangeable in my mind: two young try-hard pluggers in the midfield. I had hoped Caskey would eventually turn the corner, Rose has. He is a solid MLS starter. He may not have boatloads of quality, but he produces. Both he and Pineda were solid playing box-to-box. An Ozzie/Gonzo/Rose midfield would be formidable for any opponent. Let’s just hope they’re too much for the Crew tomorrow.