The Seattle Sounders will host the Columbus Crew on Saturday at 7 PM. The match will likely be played in front of a much sparser crowd than we’re accustomed to, due to precautions surrounding COVID-19. Let’s hope the Sounders can provide a bit of a positive respite. Here are five things we’d like to see which should go a long way toward getting a positive result:
Get Raul going
We’re going to sound like a broken record on this one until it starts happening. It’s important for Raul Ruidiaz to be scoring goals for the Sounders. He wasn’t necessarily bad against Chicago, but he certainly wasn’t involved in the match in the way you’d expect from your DP striker.
The math is simple. Get Raul the ball and make sure he scores.
Button up the defense
The Sounders should be able field something resembling their first choice back line and defensive midfield on Saturday night. Yeimar Gomez Andrade has his visa now, so he should slot in next to Xavier Arreaga on the back line. The first choice left back is not nailed down yet, so either Joevin Jones or Nouhou has an opportunity to shine against Columbus. Having Gustav Svensson back in the middle of the field should also help on the defensive side of the ball.
Don’t let Caleb celebrate
Caleb Porter hasn’t coached the Portland Timbers since 2017, but he still might be the coach we least like to see happy. Thankfully, we’ve only had to see that at CenturyLink Field once, and that was way back in 2013 (unfortunately it was a playoff game). We’re sure that Brian Schmetzer still hasn’t forgotten the stare Porter gave the Sounders bench following that playoff series. Not that the Sounders need any extra motivation, but keeping Caleb from doing it again sure would be nice.
Seriously, be safe out there
Whatever you may think of the Sounders decision to go ahead with this match, we can all do our part to make sure that it’s a safe experience. First of all, there’s no shame at all in staying home. The Sounders are apparently being pretty good about allowing fans to exchange tickets for a later game and if you have any doubts about being there, we highly encourage you to take them up on the offer. If you do come, be extra mindful of washing your hands, using hand sanitizer and covering your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
We’d love to see Gustav Svensson make his 2020 debut as a starter while keeping in mind that he might not be good for more than 60 or 70 minutes.