Sounders Insider

Sounders turn attention to visit from unbeaten Crew

The Sounders were off today after traveling Monday. On Wednesday they'll return to training for their Saturday home match with Columbus. Some news should come out of those training sessions. Until then, these notes from the club:

After securing three points in its first road match of the season, Seattle Sounders FC returns home for Saturday's clash with the Columbus Crew. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

Saturday's match will be televised locally on Q13 FOX with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call, and can be heard on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. THIS-TV (KOMO2) will televise the match live in Spanish with Jaime Mendez and Diego Arrioja calling the action, and Spanish radio is available on ESPN Deportes 1490 AM with Rene Aleman and Noe Menendez.

Sounders FC (2-1-0, 6 points) sits second in the West following a 2-nil road win over the Montreal Impact on Sunday afternoon. Lamar Neagle and Obafemi Martins each scored their first goals of the 2014 campaign, marking the first multi-goal game of the season for Seattle. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei recorded his second shutout of the season, as Seattle's 0.67 goals against average is tied for fifth in MLS.

Seattle's three-game start to the season is tied for the second-best in club history, and a win on Saturday would match the club's best-ever four-game start.

Saturday's match will be the lone meeting of the season with the Columbus Crew (2-0-0, 6 points), who sit in a three-way tie atop the Eastern Conference standings, winning the opening two matches of the season for the first time in club history. Midfielder Bernardo Anor earned MLS Player of the Week honors after scoring twice in a 2-1 home win over the Philadelphia Union last Saturday.

Seattle and Columbus have met nine times across all competitions, with Sounders FC holding the advantage at 5-1-3, including a 2-1 win in the 2010 U.S. Open Cup final. Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall will face his former team for the first time, where he won the 2008 MLS Cup with Head Coach Sigi Schmid, Assistant Coach Ezra Hendrickson and midfielder Brad Evans.

Sounders FC will continue to celebrate 40 years of professional soccer in Seattle on Saturday afternoon by honoring former NASL Sounders defender Mike England.

Following Saturday's contest, Sounders FC will play its first Cascadia Cup match of the season against the Portland Timbers. The April 5 match at Providence Park will kick off a three-game road trip, including visits to FC Dallas and Chivas USA. Seattle will return to CenturyLink Field on April 26 to host the Colorado Rapids.

Tickets for Sounders FC home matches, including the Tottenham Hotspur friendly, are available now at www.SoundersFC.com and 1-877-MLS-GOAL. The 6-Match ticket package is also available now with expanded seating to include the upper bowl at CenturyLink Field.

Back Home (For Now)Sounders FC returns home for Saturday's match against the Columbus Crew before going back on the road for three-straight games, starting on April 5 at Portland. Seattle is 1-1-0 at home this season with two goals scored and two conceded. Seattle has won 11 of its past 16 (11-2-3) regular-season home matches, dating back to May 11, 2013. Sounders FC matched its best home point total (35) in 2013, highlighted by a 14-game (10-0-4) home unbeaten streak and a league-best six-game home winning streak. Following Saturday's match against the Crew, Seattle's next game at CenturyLink Field is April 26 against the Colorado Rapids.

Second in the WestWith Sunday's road win at Montreal, Sounders FC has earned six points through the first three games of the season, sitting second in the West behind FC Dallas (2-0-1, 7 points). Seattle's average of two points per game ranks fifth in MLS behind Houston, Columbus, Toronto (3 PPG) and Dallas (2.33 PPG). Sounders FC is one of five teams with two victories in the opening three weeks of the 2014 regular season.

The six points through the opening three games is tied for the second-best start in club history, ranking behind the three-straight wins to start the inaugural campaign. In 2012, Sounders FC earned six points in the opening three contests, and continued to go unbeaten over the next six matches (5-0-1), including a five-game winning streak to post the best nine-game start in club history. If Seattle takes all three points against Columbus on Saturday, the team would match its best four-game start in club history.

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