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Sounders at Columbus Crew SC: Keys to Game

At 4:30 PM you are come in from the sun and turn on Q13 Fox to watch the Seattle Sounders FC continue their strong start to the season in a place they have yet to lose. Columbus Crew SC are a good, maybe even great team in 2015, but they are without key midfielder Will Trapp and maybe without Kei Kamara. Here's what to watch for while you're watching.

Keys to Game:

  • Force system change - The Crew rely on patient build up out of the back with some of the least long-ball passing centerbacks in MLS. They are 4th in the league in the percentage of their touches in their own half and use the central third of the field less than any other side. High pressure could force change that limits dangerous touches by their best player.
  • Control Higuain - He's an incredible player and isn't putting up the numbers this year. Forcing him to be active around the centerline rather than the top of the circle really limits what the Crew can do. It will force them to create from their outside players. Combo-marking by Pineda and Alonso should limit his success as well.
  • Let them cross - If they get outside they love to cross. Here's the thing. They aren't good in the air and without Kamara they are awful in the air. Cross by today's Crew are basically long turnovers heading to Marshall or Evans heads. That's perfect for Seattle.
  • Get Clinfemi behind - Teams that play out of the back like fullbacks that attack, which means Clint and Oba can do some serious work. Getting them behind and at angles allows them to score or dish it off to the other one running through the box.

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