By Money Mike
Coming off a memerable 1-0 win on the road against Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League, the Seattle Sounders return home, looking to cap off a big week with a big win as they take on the Columbus Crew this afternoon. Kickoff time is at 1pm and will be televised on KONG-TV and I believe it will also be shown live on ROOT Sports outside the Seattle area. With the Supporters Shield and home field advantage on the line this late in the season, you have to think that every game is a must win for the Men in Rave Green. The Sounders of course have had a big week on the pitch and in the front office. On tuesday, Seattle traveled south of the border to Monterrey and pulled off a 1-0 upset win over the CONCACAF Champions. And just yesterday in the front office, the Sounders swapped Allocation ranking spots with the Chicago Fire and traded their third-round pick of the 2012 MLS draft to acquire former US under-20 international Samuel Ochoa, so now they won't have to worry about trying to gamble for players by the trade deadline on September 15th.
Columbus Crew - Alright, we got a big list right here for the visitors. Starting with this man. He started the season with the Red Bulls, then was traded to Toronto FC in Week 3, and now here he is with the Columbus Crew via another damn trade. Tony Tchani when he was with Toronto, he didn't make the trip to Seattle because he was suspended. This time, the reason for not making the tip for this weekends matchup is because he's wounded. A right knee inflammation is what's keeping him out, I don't think he's even made his Columbus debut yet. Eddie Gaven (Right lower leg contusion) and backup goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum (Fractured right thumb) are also out. Shaun Francis and Korey Veeder are listed as doubtful. Rounding out the list are Emilio Renteria, Rich Balchan and Jeff Cunningham who are listed as probable.
Seattle Sounders FC - For the Sounders, Steve Zakuani, well according to Josh Mayers on Seattletimes, he may be done for the season. Right now I'm not going to confirm anything, except that Brian Mullan is a douche. Mike Seamon has an ankle problem so he is out. O'Brian White, what the hell is going on? He was supposed to be back last month, but something must be going terribly wrong with this guy. It doesn't look like he has fully recovered because he's not returning at least for this match. And finally rounding out the list, Patrick Ianni with a strained hammy. He is listed as probable.
So one player has to watch this game from the press box, thank god it's not a Sounders player. Julius James has been booked too many times. So the Columbus defender is suspended for this afternoons matchup because of caution accumulations.
- New boy Sammy Ochoa doesn't look like he'll make his debut for the Seattle Sounders tomorrow. Accoring to the Sounders webside, Ochoa is expected to join the team next week. So there's a chance he could make his debut on tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal against FC Dallas.
- Now this is off topic with the Columbus Crew match. Should the Sounders win the semifinal on tuesday, they will host the final on October 4th at CenturyLink Field against either the Chicago Fire or the Richmond Kickers.
Alvaro Fernandez vs Sebastian Miranda - Fernandez has become one of the most valuable members of the team. Leading the Sounders with 8 goals in all compatitions. He'll be challenged by the Crew's right back who is second on his team in minutes played this season.
Tom Heinemann vs Jhon Kennedy Hurtado - Heinemann was Lamar Neagle's strike partner last season with the Charleston Battery. This time he's Andres Mendoza's strike partner with the Columbus Crew. He's only 24 years of age and he's improving as an MLS player. He'll be a handful for the Columbian.