COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Seattle Sounders practiced at Mapfre Stadium on a balmy Friday evening as they prepared to take on the Columbus Crew Saturday evening. The Sounders changed their routine slightly, opting to train late in the afternoon within 24 hours of the game, in part to avoid the humidity and heat.
The Sounders are coming off a rough midweek performance in which they stayed with a first-choice NYCFC side for about an hour, before conceding two goals which put the game out of reach.
The Sounders will look to take advantage of a wounded Crew side which has lost 7 of 8 and 1-10-1 in their past 12 games and is likely in rebuilding mode after the offsewason drama which saved the team from a move to Austin, Texas. The game also represents the first match between the the teams since Caleb Porter was named head coach.
“It’s our old friend Caleb Porter, it’s kind of a revamp of the Crew, but it’s MLS,” Schmetzer said. “It’s critical how you approach these games, the tactics, your preparation so a lot of thought goes into these games even at the end of a long road trip.”
Even with the Crew devastated by injuries and missing key players to international duties, Schmetzer said he won’t take the home side lightly.
“We obviously can see who they have out on international duty, but what I can expect out of a Caleb Porter-coached team is an organized, well coached team,” Schmetzer said.
The Sounders will welcome back several international players, including Nicholas Lodeiro and Roman Torres. Additionally, Danny Leyva trained in full after being held out of the NYCFC game for rotational purposes.
“Nico is ready to go; same with Danny,” Schmetzer said.
After being rested midweek, Sounders midfielder Gustav Svensson said he knows how important it is for the team to get a result against a depleted Crew side. “It’s always difficult to play three games in a week, especially when we have away games like this, “Svensson said. “They’re the home team, they’re going to go for the win. We need a win as well, we need to show we can win away especially.”