Roldan at CLB 5-31-17
Joseph Maiorana

Sounders FC falls short with 3-0 road loss at Columbus

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Seattle Sounders FC (4-6-4, 16 points) dropped a 3-0 result to Columbus Crew SC (7-7-1, 22 points) in a midweek road match at MAPFRE Stadium on Wednesday evening. The loss halts Seattle's two-match winning streak, with Federico Higuaín, Justin Meram and Ola Kamara providing the goals for the home side. With the loss, Seattle falls to 5-4-3 all-time against Columbus, with a 3-2-1 overall record in Central Ohio. Seattle now prepares for a cross-country flight on Thursday, with the Rave Green playing host to Western Conference foe Houston on Sunday, June 4 at CenturyLink Field (7:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Univision-Seattle, ROOT SPORTS, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).

Crew SC got off the starting blocks early through Higuaín, as the Argentine playmaker fired a low and hard shot toward the far post of Stefan Frei's goal. The play began when Columbus fullback Hector Jiménez intercepted the ball in midfield, putting Higuaín through on goal. The strike was the veteran midfielder's fifth tally of 2017.

Columbus doubled its advantage in the 21st minute, this time with Wil Trapp leading his side forward, slotting a lengthy through ball to the feet of Meram. The Michigan native began a long run out of midfield, splitting through Seattle's defense before unleashing a knuckling shot from the edge of the area. Frei was again beaten at his far post, with Crew SC earning a 2-0 lead. The goal was Meram's team-leading eighth strike of the campaign. 

On the other side of halftime, Columbus added a third goal in the 59th minute, this time with Meram playing the role of creator by slotting a through ball to Kamara. The Norwegian striker finished cleanly for his eighth strike of the season, equaling Meram's 2017 goal total.

Sounders FC Homegrown Player Seyi Adekoya made his first career start, with the UCLA product logging 64 minutes as the lone forward in Seattle's 4-2-3-1 formation. Defender Román Torres made his first appearance since suffering a hamstring strain on May 6, coming on for Joevin Jones in the 74th minute, while Nouhou Tolo made his Sounders FC debut, coming on Oniel Fisher in the 64th minute.

Brian Schmetzer's side now returns home to CenturyLink Field for his club's final match before the upcoming FIFA international break, with Seattle battling the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, June 4 (7:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, Univision-Seattle, ROOT SPORTS, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). Sunday's match is Seattle's third contest inside nine days, with the Rave Green currently riding a two-match winning streak on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 0 - Columbus Crew SC 3
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
 
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium
Referee: David Gantar
Assistants: Charles Morgante, Peter Manikowski
Fourth Official: Fotis Bazakos
Attendance: 12,773
Weather: 70 degrees and clear

SCORING SUMMARY

CLB - Federico Higuaín (Héctor Jiménez) 10'
CLB - Justin Meram (Wil Trapp) 21'
CLB - Ola Kamara (Justin Meram, Federico Higuaín) 59'
 
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY
 
SEA - Seyi Adekoya (caution) 3'
CLB - Jonathan Mensah (caution) 67'
 
LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Jordy Delem, Gustav Svensson, Tony Alfaro, Oniel Fisher (Brad Evans 64'); Alvaro Fernandez, Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Joevin Jones (Román Torres 74'), Nicolas Lodeiro; Seyi Adekoya (Nouhou Tolo 64')

Substitutes not used: Tyler Miller, Zach Mathers, Aaron Kovar, Harry Shipp

Total shots: 6 (Lodeiro, 3)
Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)
Fouls: 7 (Alonso/Adekoya, 3)
Offside: 1 (Fernandez, 1)
Corner-kicks: 6 (Lodeiro, 6)
Saves: 2 (Frei, 2)           

Columbus Crew SC - Zack Steffen; Héctor Jiménez (Harrison Afful 69'), Josh Williams, Jonathan Mensah, Jukka Raitala; Wil Trapp, Artur, Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuaín (Alex Crognale 83'), Justin Meram (Kekuta Manneh 74'); Ola Kamara

Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver, Harrison Afful, Mohammed Abu, Adam Jahn, Niko Hansen
Total shots: 12 (Kamara, 5)
Shots on goal: 5 (Kamara/Meram, 2)
Fouls: 13 (Artur, 3)
Offside: 2 (Kamara, 2)
Corner-kicks: 3 (Higuain, 3)
Saves: 4 (Steffen, 4)

MATCH NOTES 

  • Sounders FC is now 4-6-4 this season and sits in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference alongside Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The loss naps a two-match winning streak for Seattle, who is now 1-5-2 away from CenturyLink Field this season.
  • The Rave Green are 0-6-2 this season when surrendering the first goal.
  • Seattle is 5-4-3 all-time against Crew SC in regular-season play, including a 3-2-1 mark in Columbus.
  • Seyi Adekoya made his first career start, logging 64 minutes as the lone forward in Seattle's 4-2-3-1 formation. The Homegrown Player out of UCLA made his pro debut earlier this month on May 17 at Sporting Kansas City off the bench.
  • Defender Román Torres made his first appearance since suffering a hamstring strain on May 6. The Panamanian international came on as a substitute for Joevin Jones in the 74th minute.
  • Nouhou Tolo made his Sounders FC debut, coming on for Oniel Fisher and playing the final 26 minutes at left back.
  • With Wednesday's contest being the second of three matches in nine days, Chad Marshall was left home in Seattle to rest as part of Brian Schmetzer's squad rotation, while Brad Evans moved to the bench following Saturday's match versus Portland. Additionally, Harry Shipp suffered a hip flexor strain in training on Tuesday, and did not appear in the 18-man gameday roster.
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