In their past three road games, the Seattle Sounders lost all three with a -9 goal differential. Wednesday’s loss was partially due to call-ups, injuries and a lineup gamble that failed. Columbus Crew SC exploited the spaces where Jordy Delem and Oniel Fisher played in scoring their first two goals, and then coasted to a 3-nil win.
Brian Schmetzer was forced into difficult lineup choices due to injuries to Will Bruin, Chad Marshall, and Harry Shipp, and early national team call-ups for Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris. Neither Roman Torres nor Brad Evans were fit enough to start. Seyi Adekoya earned his first MLS start as a lone forward.
Delem started the match at right back, Fisher at left back, and Joevin Jones was the left mid. With those three at non-optimal positions, the defense was poor. The attack was not any better.
Federico Higuain opened the scoring in the 10th minute. But the game really went sideways when Justin Meram dribbled from his own half to score the second goal.
Adekoya did have an opportunity to score early, but took too much time on the ball, eventually settling for an outside-the-boot chip he sent over the crossbar.
In the second half, Schmetzer made a few shifts that put the starters in their more typical roles. Delem moved up to the defensive midfield while Fisher became the right back and Jones the left back. It worked better than the first 45.
They gave up the third goal just as Brad Evans was ready to enter. Ola Kamara ended any hope of Seattle victory.
At 64’ the Sounders inserted Nouhou and Brad Evans while Adekoya and Fisher left. That move was more about fitness and opportunity than an attempt to come back.
Roman Torres came on at 74’ as Jones left. It was again a move to prepare for the Sunday, June 4 (7 PM PT) game against the Houston Dynamo. That game is in Seattle, and just maybe a few more normal contributors are able to start.
Seattle is now 1-5-2 on the road in 2017.