2011 May 7

Sounders score early in Columbus, hang on for a draw

Columbus Crew  1 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC
Crew Stadium, Columbus, OH

31' SEA: Fredy Montero (Erik Friberg)

67' CBS: Emilio Renteria (PK)

Columbus: William Hesmer; Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Rich Balchan; Dilly Duka (Andres Mendoza 61'), Kevin Burns (Emmanuel Ekpo 73'), Dejan Rusmir, Robbie Rogers, Eddie Gaven; Emilio Renteria.
Substitutes not used: Andy Gruenebaum, Andy Iro, Josh Gardner, Leandre Griffit, Jeff Cunningham.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez; Erik Friberg (Nate Jaqua 66'), Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 89'); Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 84').
Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders won the first half with an early goal from Fredy Montero, and the host Columbus Crew won the second half. The tying goal came on Emilio Renteria's penalty kick, which seemed undeserved, but the Sounders were fortunate to not give up another goal as the Crew dominated play late in the match.

The Sounders debuted their new alternate kits, playing in all shale.

7' SEA: Montero (Friberg). Seattle scored on their first shot of the match. In the middle of the attacking half, Roger Levesque dished a short pass to Montero, who played a square cross to the right line for Erik Friberg. The long-haired Swede took one touch to settle the ball, then curled in a nice cross for Montero's run at the near post. Montero rose between two defenders and easily beat goalkeeper William Hesmer, who had started to come out. The shot went to the top near corner and got a good piece of the post on the way in. 1-0 Seattle.

Columbus had a good chance 3 minutes later when Eddie Gaven got two steps ahead of Leo Gonzalez to go in on goal. Kasey Keller got down to make the save and the defense put the rebound out for a corner.

The rain went from bad to worse around the half hour mark. The preceding ten minutes saw little from Columbus, while Seattle's shots by Osvaldo Alonso, Levesque and Montero all missed by a lot.

At 32' Columbus had a good chance when Robbie Rogers got through up the middle. Keller was well out from his line and did well with a left-handed save. Another chance came soon when Renteria crossed to the near post for Gaven, who headed it wide of the same post. That was the end of the chances in the first half.

Seattle never managed a good chance in the second half and simply tried to hold on for at least a point. The lone try was Montero's header from a cross that went well over the bar.

Renteria had the first good chance for Columbus, working for a shot from the right side that was aimed at the lower near corner. Keller dove to grab it.

Columbus turned up the pressure for the last half hour. Renteria's cross at 64' led to a quick pair of shots by Kevin Burns, with Keller saving the first and Levesque clearing the second.

67' CBS: Renteria (PK). The penalty kick came when Patrick Ianni was whistled for a tug on Chad Marshall, but the replays did not show anything worth a whistle. Renteria sent the penalty kick to the right while Keloler dove the other way. 1-1.

Although dominating the play, Columbus couldn't manage a match winner. Rogers had a good chance but hit it wide of the far post. Gaven was served for a shot at the near post that was well saved by Keller. The final minute gave Columbus a 20-yard free kick. Substitute Andres Mendoza took it and shot a rocket aimed just under the bar, and Keller did well to tip it over, preserving the road point.

          CBS  SEA
Shots:     17    6
Saves:      0    6
Corners:   10    3
Fouls:     14   22
Offsides:   0    1

38' SEA: Carrasco cautioned for a tackle on Renteria
44' SEA: Montero questionably cautioned for challenge to Miranda
53' SEA: Gonzalez cautioned for a tactical foul on Gaven
64' SEA: Fernandez cautioned for a late challenge on Gaven
75' CBS: Miranda cautioned
90' SEA: Levesque cautioned for tripping Gaven

Referees: Mark Kadlecik; Steven Taylor, James Conlee; Mark Geiger

Attendance: 7,148

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

General impressions on the game: "I was pleased getting a tie. We took the lead early and were hoping to be able to hold on to it. Tired legs got the best of us in the second half. The Crew played with a lot of energy and pushed their players forward so we had to hold on a little at the end."

On Fredy Montero's goal and performance: "It was an important goal. He needed to score that one and he needs to score many more. We need multi-goal games from him and we need him to continue to raise his level. He's a very important player for us. I think at the end he got a little fatigued and that was the reason we made the change. I thought the goal was a very good goal. It was a good cross by Friberg and a good header by Fredy."

On Kasey Keller's performance: "Kasey came up with a big save on Mendoza's free kick and a couple of corner kicks. He was trying to get the balls that were bouncing around the box and it was good to be able to get a point out of this."

Kasey Keller

On the game: "In the end, it's a good point. They were pushing for the win and had a number of corners at the end. We hung on and in the end it was a good point. I think we faded a little bit at the end, but it's normal."

On the save on Robbie Rogers' breakaway in the first half: "I did everything wrong on that play. My first read was that one of my defenders was going to spin and pass the ball back to me, so I was giving him space to do so. I stepped up thinking I could get it outside of the box, but I was all over the place. It was nice to make the save, but it was one of those things where you do everything wrong and somehow manage to make it."

On the save on Mendoza's free kick: "He hit it on my side and I would've been really disappointed if he beat me on that side, as he would have had to do something really special to get me from there. It's always nice to make a save like that. They put us under a bit of pressure and we held on in the end and that is showing where we're going."

Columbus Crew

Robert Warzycha - Head Coach

On the first half: "I think we started the game pretty well, with good balance. We possessed the ball pretty well and even had one good chance in the beginning. Then they got the better of the game, to be honest with you, and we started playing long ball, and that didn't work. We made some turnovers in the middle third that cost us a goal."

On the second half: "But the second half was a completely different game and we pushed for the goal and we scored one, and created a number of chances in the end. But we didn't get any luck. The most important thing is the result. You play for 90 minutes, so obviously we'd like to score first, whether it is the first half or the second half. But the result is over 90 minutes."

Emilio Renteria

On taking the penalty kick: "I thought he [Sounders 'keeper Kasey Keller] would have watched video from last week's penalty shot, so I decided to shoot for the opposite post."

On the overall performance and the playing conditions: "It was very wet and very heavy to play in these conditions. We made some mistakes and made some decisions we probably shouldn't have made. I will get with my teammates and I will work on correcting the mistakes I made."

On pushing for a second goal in the end: "I think we had the most chances we had since the beginning of the season in the last 30 minutes. It would have been nice to get the three points but I am happy with the point all things considered."

Rich Balchan

General impressions: "I think in the first half we were getting beat to a lot of 50-50 balls. In the second half, we were a lot sharper we were winning more balls especially in higher spots on the field and I think that is what made the difference."