Since 2009, when the Seattle Sounders graced the MLS with its presence they started off on the wrong foot with the holding Champions, Columbus Crew SC. The Sounders had sniped coach Sigi Schmid from Columbus who took Brad Evans across the country with him. From that moment on, to say that Columbus was not a fan of the Sounders is an understatement, and the matchup between the two foes in Columbus this past weekend proved just that.
Kei Kamara continues to prove to the league that he was the best acquisition to a team for the new campaign as he scored two goals again on Saturday. The first goal opened the scoring sheet in the 10th minute as he did a little side step and beat the former Crew SC captain, Chad Marshall, to the ball beautifully crossed by Francis and headed it into the bottom left corner of the net. Kamara’s second goal proved to be the game winner in the 58th minute as Meram had a beautiful run in space down the left side and crossed it all the way through the penalty box to Finlay on the right flank who was able to pull it back to Kamara open in the center of the six for a one touch past goalkeeper Frei of Seattle. The two flanking runs are really what made this play happen as beautifully as it did, and allowed for Kamara to do what he does best, finish the ball from the six yard box.
Higuain played a great game all around and was also able to get on the score sheet in the 50th minute from a sequence similar to a ping pong game. The play started as a corner that went through everyone to the foot of Finlay who proceeded to cross it back over to the feet of Higuain. Crew SC and Seattle both looked as though they were setting up for another cross and that is when Pipa did Pipa things and ran with the ball across the 18 with nobody stepping up to him and fired a low rolling shot into the far right corner of goal. This goal coming just five minutes after halftime was hard for Sigi to stomach as he said, “everything we discussed at halftime went out the window with that goal.”
Dempsey scored a brace (two goals for all you rookies out there) to keep pace with Kamara for the golden boot race, one of which should not have counted. Deuce’s first goal was a beauty from outside the 18 that bent just out of the reach of Clark to pull the Sounders even at the time. Truth is, even if Mohammed Saeid had stepped up to defend Dempsey a little quicker it is not certain that he would have done much to stop the goal from happening. Dempsey’s second goal which never should have counted, as he was in an offside position on two different occasions during the play is what made the last 10 minutes of the game more interesting than they should have been. With the goal, Seattle thought they smelled blood and a point so the powerful attack kept pressing and kept Clark and the rest of the Crew SC defense on its heels till the final whistle blew.
MAPFRE Stadium: Still working on living up to its potential of having regular season sell outs (I think it will happen mid-summer in Columbus on a couple occasions) clearly has an impact on the way Columbus Crew SC performs. The Nordecke can be heard all game long and the team seems to want to keep giving them a reason to be louder by scoring goals in droves when they play in front of them. Grade: A
MAPFRE Stadium Video Board: After Dempsey’s goal in the 75th minute the highlight of the goal showed on the video board which then brought the crowd into a tizzy, but also most of the players on the pitch as well. Kamara was given a yellow card for his reaction and argument with the referee after seeing how offside the goal was. I don’t think the intention was to get Crew SC’s leading goal scorer a card but it happened and those cards add up and will eventually lead to a missed match for the heart shaped hands. Grade : C-
Kei Kamara: Kei is doing everything Crew SC wanted him to do and more in the start of the season. Kamara has seven goals so far and is on pace to score 30, all of his goals have come within the six yard box and have been on the one touches that in previous years may have gone wide or right at the keeper. The Crew SC faithful are becoming accustomed to seeing Kei Kamara’s name on the score sheet and are sick and tired of hearing “Kei Kamara, the former Sporting KC standout” because… they the Crew SC had him first. Grade: A+
Columbus Crew Black Kits: Don’t get me wrong, I love the black kits, they are a beautiful ensemble, but Columbus Crew SC has long been known for their “banana kits” and especially when they play at home. I am not sure if this is a team or a league decision but this writer is a fan of the all yellows all the time and reserving the blacks for the slump buster games. Grade: B (because a win is a win)
Obafemi Martins back flip goal celebration: N/A