Matchday Central: @ Columbus Crew

Sounders FC plays their last Eastern Conference road contest against Columbus and here are all the facts and figures, news and notes ahead of the match.

Sounders FC @ Columbus Crew
August 31, 2013, 4:30 pm PT; Crew Stadium
TV/Radio: KONG 6/16; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; KOMO2 (Spanish) and La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish)

The Crew’s Record: Columbus is eighth in the Eastern Conference at 8-12-5 (29 points), including 5-4-3 at Crew Stadium.

All-time series: Sounders FC is 3-1-3 all-time against the Crew and 2-0-1 at Crew Stadium. Additionally, Seattle won the 2010 U.S. Open Cup final against the Crew for its second of three straight Open Cup titles.

Injury Report: Sounders FC – OUT: F Will Bates (R knee); GK Josh Ford (R patella fracture); M Steve Zakuani (athletic pubalgia). QUESTIONABLE: M Shalrie Joseph (R knee sprain); F Obafemi Martins (L ankle sprain); D Dylan Remick (L hamstring strain). Crew – OUT: M Eddie Gaven (L ACL Surgery); D Glauber (L ACL Surgery); GK Andy Gruenebaum (L Shoulder Weakness); M Matias Sanchez (L Calf Strain). QUESTIONABLE: M Justin Meram (Back Spasms); M Bernardo Anor (R Hamstring Tightness); F Aaron Schoenfeld (R Shoulder Sprain).

Key player: Dominic Oduro is the top scoring threat available for Head Coach Robert Warzycha. The eight-year veteran has nine goals this season to give him 42 for his career. He utilizes his speed up the wings to create opportunities, so cutting off service from midfielders Wil Trapp and Danny O’Rourke in particular will be important for Seattle.

Notes: Crew playmaker Federico Higuain is unavailable for the match while serving the first match in a two-match suspension for a red card and yellow card accumulation. He leads the Crew with nine goals and six assists. … Of the 34 goals allowed by Columbus, 20 have come in the final 15 minutes of a half – seven from minutes 31-45 and 13 from minutes 76-90. … After the match three Sounders FC players – Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans – will join the U.S. National Team for matches against Costa Rica on Sept. 6 and Mexico on Sept. 10. They will miss Seattle’s matches against Chivas USA and the Chicago Fire next week. … Seattle has had four hat tricks in club history and two have come against the Crew. Blaise Nkufo netted three goals at Crew Stadium in 2010 and Lamar Neagle recorded at hat trick at CenturyLink Field in 2011. … The match on Saturday is the first of three in eight days for Seattle, followed by Chivas USA on Sept. 4 and the Chicago Fire on Sept. 7, both at CenturyLink Field. In 10 previous stretches of three MLS matches in eight days in club history, Seattle has gone unbeaten four times. … Saturday marks Seattle’s final road match against an Eastern Conference foe. Sounders FC is 2-1-1 on the road against the East.

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