Final: After two minutes of stoppage time this one is over. Nkufo is the story of the night. More to come.
89′: Not much longer here. Still 4-0.
79′: Seattle sub — Nkufo the hero comes out and Jaqua is in.
75′: GOAL SEATTLE! Nkufo gets the hat trick with a perfectly placed shot to the upper corner. Zakuani with the assist, but Montero with a great dummy. It’s 4-0 now.
72′: Crew sub — Mendoza in and Ekpo out.
70′: Flaco with a good run on the right side. Nkufo wide open on the back post begging for service but it doesn’t get there. On a corner kick immediately after, Nkufo fires a bouncing ball over the bar.
65′: Seattle sub — Fernandez in and Nyassi out.
64′: Crew sub — Renteria in and Burns out.
63′: SAVE! Columbus cross to the back post is headed well by Gaven on goal but Keller stops it.
61′: Personally, I wasn’t sure Seattle could produce this many goals without Montero being involved.
58′: Have to think Columbus needs at least one goal soon…
54′: SAVE! MISS! Lenhart sets up Schelotto beautifully with Keller palms the shot away. Gaven is open on the rebound but misses the target.
54′: Late note — the seven shots on goal for Seattle is a record for a half.
50′: Sturgis is down. Could be bad as teammates motion for a trainer.
49′: Montero curls a free kick beautifully — from our view in the pressbox it seems destined for the upper corner — but it’s out for a goal kick.
46′: And we’re off in the second half. Updates will be less frequent due to writing duties.
Halftime: Some stats:
Shots: SEA 9, COL 7
Shots on goal: SEA 7, COL 1
Saves: SEA 1, COL 4
Fouls: SEA 8, COL 7
Corner kicks: SEA 1, COL 3
Offsides: SEA 0, COL 1
Halftime: Goodness gracious, how wild was that? Two goals by Nkufo and Sturgis converts the first PK in franchise history to give the visitors a shocking 3-0 lead here at Crew Stadium. Got some writing duties to take care of, more to come later.
45′: Three minutes of stoppage time. Seattle clearly energized by the spurt. Columbus equally deflated.
44′: Sounders announce they’re wearing blue for the rest of the season.*
(* — not really)
42′: GOAL SEATTLE! Sturgis converts the spot kick for his first career goal. Wow what a half.
41′: Penalty coming for Seattle! Nyassi dragged down by O’Rourke.
39′: GOAL SEATTLE! Nkufo again! Was slow getting into the play, but a Scott cross eventually comes out to the big Swiss forward. He makes a run on the left side of the goal and fires a perfect shot that deflects off the inside of the far post and in.
38′: It’s all Columbus right now. Ekpo continues to abuse Seattle’s defense on the left. On a Crew corner kick, an open Iro heads the ball over the goal.
36′: Field slanted at Keller’s goal. Will Seattle make it to the half with the lead?
32′: Zakuani forced to play more defensively to help Leo deal with the ever-dangerous Ekpo. As I type that, Ekpo fires in a good cross to Lenhart, but his shot is just wide.
30′: Columbus continues to attack well. One goal might not be enough for Sounders FC to steal the three points.
27′: Little tussle as Montero fouls Schelotto, then pushes the writhing forward off of him. Carroll then pushes Montero. Nothing more comes of it.
25′: Free kick drawn by Gaven. A Crew supporters’ group chants “Guillermo! Guillermo!” The Argentine’s shot is deflected and bounces harmlessly to Keller.
22′: Nkufo down. Gets some treatment.
20′: Lenhart draws a free kick for Columbus, but Schelotto’s service is well over everybody.
18′: Extremely entertaining game to start here.
15′: MISS! More good stuff from the home team as Schelotto sets up Gaven well, but his shot is wide in the end.
14′: Good combo work by Gaven and O’Rourke to get a cross in, but Keller snags it.
11′: Jeff Parke after being undercut by Lenhart. Needs treatment, but he comes back on eventually.
10′: Nkufo’s goal ties the earliest in franchise history. Zakuani also scored in the 4th minute in the game against Columbus earlier in the season.
8′: Columbus on the attack now. Leo gets burned by Ekpo but his cross is deflected and the ensuing Crew shot is blocked.
7′: SAVE! Gaven gets some space in Seattle’s box and fires a shot on goal that Keller stops well.
7′: Whew! Wild start. Seattle is 8-2-3 when scoring first. Columbus is 1-6-2 when conceding first.
4′: GOAL SOUNDERS FC! Blaise Nkufo knocks in a rebound on his second attempt for his first goal for Seattle. Montero had headed a Sturgis corner kick on target to set it up. Nkufo had his first rebound attempt saved.
3′: SAVE! Nyassi and Montero play a 1-2 in the Crew third and the young Gambian fires a low shot toward the corner that’s saved nicely by Hesmer.
1′: Nyassi swings in a cross right at Hesmer, but the Crew goalkeeper seems flustered and knocks it out for a Seattle throw in. Nothing comes of it though.
1′: And we’re off! Not sure I’m a fan of the blue-green-blue look, but that’s another matter…
Pregame: Here come the blue jerseys. Only their second appearance this year. The first was also against Columbus in an early-season 1-1 draw, when Sounders FC trotted out that spanking-new 4-3-3 formation. Crew in all-yellow.
Pregame: Barring a late scratch, Kasey Keller will make his 50th straight MLS start tonight. The two-time all-star has nine shutouts this season and leads the team with 2115 minutes played.
Pregame: We’re about a half hour away from kickoff here as the sun (which had been right in our eyes) starts to set. It appears as though James Riley isn’t quite ready enough to play as he’s not in the 18.
Blaise Nkufo is starting and Nate Jaqua is a reserve, so they appear to be fine. Curiously, designated Alvaro Fernandez was dropped for Sanna Nyassi, as seen in the lineups I’ve posted below. I’ll try to remember to ask Sigi Schmid in postgame about that move.