MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew SC 3-2 Seattle Sounders

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The game in 100 words (or less): Put Columbus Crew SC up there with the likes of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas in terms of teams that are fun to watch on the break. The biggest difference between the way Crew SC destroy teams on the counter is that they do it without a true burner, or at least one that comes to mind as being among the fastest players in the league. What Gregg Berhalter’s side does better than all those other teams, though — and every other team in the league — is in the way they use the ball, letting it do the work and making smart, lethal decisions with their every action. Not yet sure whether to buy into Crew SC as a legitimate MLS Cup contender? Just watch this goal. There, I’m glad that’s settled now.

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Three moments that mattered

10′ — Kamara beats Marshall in the air, heads home — The number of MLS players — forget center forwards only — that can beat Chad Marshall to headers on a consistent basis is, like, two or three. Kei Kamara is one of them, and when he beat the ex-Crew center back in the 10th minute, he put the hosts up 1-0.

24′ — Dempsey curls in one from almost 25 yards — Newsflash: Clint Dempsey is pretty darned good, in case you weren’t aware. So few players in MLS can put the kind of power and curl on a ball, the way Dempsey did to equalize in the 24th minute.

50′ — Higuain’s low drive nestles inside the far post — No Sounders defender took the initiative to really step out on Federico Higuain, who simply continued dribbling across the penalty area until he reached the center and saw an opening on goal. He fired low and hard, and Stefan Frei had no chance after seeing it so late through traffic.

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Man of the match: Kei Kamara — I’ve said over and over that Kamara was the piece Crew SC missed down the stretch and 2014, and that he’d be the difference maker in 2015. So far, the big man leads MLS with 7 goals, which could easily stand at 10 with a bit more luck in the season’s opening month.

LINEUPS

Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Francis, Pogatetz, Parkhurst, Jimenez, Tchani, Saeid (Wahl 63′), Meram (Steindorsson 88′), Higuain, Finlay, Kamara (Schoenfeld 84′)

Goals: Dempsey (24′, 75′)

Seattle Sounders: Frei, Remick, Marshall, Evans, Mears, Pappa (Neagle 62′), Pineda, Alonso, Rose (Barrett 70′), Martins, Dempsey

Goals: Kamara (10′, 58′), Higuain (50′)