These are two teams built on the same tactical structure, on similar talent levels, and yet with very different results. Yes, most of that has been "luck" and injuries, but some of it has to be the fact that the Columbus Crew have been together for some time, and they know where each other are at all times.
How does Seattle get a win?
1 - Stop GBS - Alonso likely gets this assignment, which is good for Seattle defensively, but that former MVP can't be stopped by mere man marking. He will be a threat, and the Sounders must use solid communication to stop him.
2 - Use Zakuani's Speed Against Hejduk's Age - I love Frankie from his National Team history, but he's getting older and losing speed. He won't be able to keep up with Steve Zakuani. I expect some endline moves like we saw in the Open Cup Semi Final from Zakuani. This will also prevent the bearded one from getting forward as much as he likes.
3 - Feed Nkufo - While Chad Marshall is good, Blaise Nkufo has the vision that using him as an advanced pivot can payoff big. Top of 18 triangles and give-and-goes can be a great threat against a team that only has one great defensive player.
Full lineups when they are public. Our expected lineup has a combined Plus/Minus per 90 of +1.85 shots and +0.09 Goals.
KONG and 97.3 for TV and Radio with Arlo White
Right Here for Your Gamethread
Today's Beer is Santa's Private Reserve from Rogue. Malty, syrupy and yet refreshing due to a lack of over-spicing that can occur in winter brews. Hooray again for their garage sale.