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Columbus Crew to welcome Seattle Sounders FC to house of horrors

Cody Cousino / Asst. multimedia editor

The Columbus Crew will attempt to continue their recent success — and exact some revenge — in Saturday’s match against Seattle Sounders FC.

The Sounders (3-3-3) are traveling to Columbus for a Saturday match against the Crew, after their six-game unbeaten streak ended with a 2-1 loss to D.C. United (3-4-1) on Wednesday. The Crew (3-1-3) are riding a six-game unbeaten streak of their own, and boast an undefeated 3-0-1 home record heading into Saturday. The Crew’s last loss was March 19 against D.C. United. Columbus fell, 3-1, in its only loss of the regular season.

After the Crew’s 2-1 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, midfielder Robbie Rogers tweeted about his team’s recent achievements on its home ground, saying: “3 more points! Crew stadium is a fortress!”

Crew Stadium was more of a house of horrors than a fortress when Columbus hosted the Sounders last year. Success against Seattle, regardless of the venue, has been hard to come by for the Crew, who will attempt to avenge their last-season record of 0-2-1 against Seattle.

The two losses from the 2010 season included a 4-0 home defeat in league play Sept. 18 and a 2-1 loss at Seattle’s Qwest Field in the United States Open Cup final just 17 days later. Columbus players, including defender and team captain Chad Marshall, haven’t forgotten those games.

“We kind of owe them a little bit,” Marshall said. “It’s going to be tough. It’s always tough when we play them.”

Rogers did not play in the home loss, and saw limited action in the cup final because of an injury, but said he has unpleasant memories of watching the games from the stands.

“It was difficult to watch,” Rogers said. “I think that Saturday will be a difficult game.”

Crew coach Robert Warzycha agreed.

“They are a good team, and we’ll have to play our best game to win,” he said.

Warzycha said his team played better in the past than it was given credit for, despite its losing record against Seattle.

“The last couple results at home against Seattle, we lost both games,” he said, referring to his team’s 4-0 loss in 2010 and 1-0 loss Oct. 3, 2009. “In the past, we didn’t match up pretty well. It’s not like they outplayed us.”

Warzycha said his team has a chance to win Saturday’s game.

“I think we have a different team,” he said, “and I think we match up with them pretty well.”

Though the Sounders’ leading scorers — midfielder Steve Zakuani and forward O’Brien White — are out with injuries and will not play Saturday, Rogers said his team will prepare for the game as it would under any other circumstances.

“They’ve lost some players, but they’re still a good team,” Rogers said. “The way that we’re playing, I think that we’ll win.”

The Crew will kick off against the Sounders at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

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