Our football match prediction:
Mapfre Stadium will host Thursday’s football match between Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders. The title holders aim to extend their winning run in MLS to three games and a victory over the Crew could see them climb to fifth place in the standings. Clint Dempsey failed to score in a 1-0 win over Portland Timbers, but, no doubt, the experienced attacker will play an important role in Brian Schmetzer’s team in the game against Columbus Crew. The Mapfre Stadium outfit suffered a heavy 5-0 loss to Toronto at the weekend and we do not believe that they are capable of shocking Seattle Sounders. The hosts are low on confidence ahead of the visit of the reigning champions and home win should not be considered. Seattle recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Columbus in their last meeting in MLS and we predict that the visitors will pick up all three points from Thursday’s clash.
Highlighted Player (Jukka Raitala):
Columbus Crew full back Jukka Raitala was born in Kerava, Finland on September 15, 1988. Raitala started his senior career at Klubi-04 and after making 22 league appearances for the club, he moved to HJK in 2007. After ending his spell with Helsinki, the Finland international signed a loan deal with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. During his spell with die Kraichgauer he appeared for the reserve team as well and in 2011 he was loaned again, this time out to Osasuna. On August 28, 2011 he made his Primera Division debut with los Rojillos playing as a left back against Atletico Madrid. Raitala played for the likes of Heerenveen, FC Vestsjaelland, Aalborg and Sogndal in the past as well he signed for Columbus Crew for the 2017 season. The Columbus defender made his Finland debut on February 4, 2009 in a friendly against Japan. It has to be noted that he represented Finland at the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in 2009.
Highlighted Team (Seattle Sounders):
Seattle Sounders are an American soccer club that compete in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer. The Sounders are owned by the likes of Joe Roth, Paul Allen, Drew Carey and Adrian Hanauer and they play their home games at CenturyLink Field. The club won the 2016 MLS Cup, with the team beating Toronto FC on penalties in the trophy game at BMO Field. Swiss goalkeeper Stefan Frei won the MVP honour after pulling off several brilliant saves in the 2016 MLS Cup final. Winning of the MLS Cup is undisputedly the club’s biggest success, but it has to be noted that the Sounders clinched the Supporters’ Shield trophy in 2014. Seattle hold rivalry with Portland Timbers, but Vancouver Whitecaps are regarded as the club’s bitter rivals as well. Experienced attacker Clint Dempsey is undisputedly the club’s most significant star and he has been playing for the CenturyLink Field outfit since 2014. He scored eight goals in the league in the 2016 season and, no doubt, he helped the Sounders win their first ever MLS Cup.