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Crew shock Sounders in Seattle

SoundersCre (Getty)


It was three years and seven matches in the making, but thanks to a pair of goals and stingy defense the Columbus Crew finally beat the Seattle Sounders.

Justin Meram's header in the 16th minute gave the Crew the only goal they would need Wednesday night, but Emelio Renteria's stunning one-touch volley from 30 yards out in the 76th minute secured the victory.

Meram beat defender Adam Johansson on the back post, and easily redirected Dilly Duka's cross past a helpless Bryan Meredith. It was Meram's third goal in three matches.

Perhaps mindful of the 6-2 drubbing they received in Seattle last August, the Crew (4-4-3) came out in a defensive formation, looking content to hope for a point. After scoring their early goal against the run of play, the Crew withdrew even further.

Seattle (7-2-3) sent attackers in waves throughout the first half, earning six corners in the process, but continually found themselves facing a box stuffed with four or five defenders. Seattle's attack also looked sluggish in the final third for much of the first 45 minutes, and several half-chances fizzled away with errant and slow passing.

Brad Evans had a great look from the top of the box in first-half stoppage time, but his badly hit strike rolled harmlessly to the right of the frame. Moments later Alvaro Fernandez missed a golden opportunity for the equalizer from just six yards out, sailing his header wide right. 

Columbus faced a refreshed and crisper Seattle attack after the break. The Sounders pushed hard for the equalizer for the first fifteen minutes of the second half and looked to have finally found the back of the net in the 51st minute, but goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum made a beautiful reflex save on Fredy Montero's skipping shot from just inside the penalty spot. Gruenebaum also made a solid save on a Montero shot from distance minutes later.

In a battle of two tired, battered sides, Columbus held on for the full three points despite being outshot 21-5 and badly losing the possession battle. The two goals were their only two shots on target for the evening.

Columbus entered riotous CenturyLink Field with just one win and two goals in five road games this season, and were 0-3-3 against the Sounders since Seattle entered the league in 2009. The Crew had, however, managed five points from their last three matches after a difficult start to the season.

After winning five straight, the Sounders have now lost two of three and are on the road for seven of their next nine league matches.

Both sides are back in action Saturday night, as the Sounders travel down the coast to face Chivas USA (4-6-1), and Columbus returns home with a chance to gain points on the Chicago Fire (4-3-3).

Here are the match highlights:


What did you think of the match? Surprised the Crew were able to win in Seattle? Still think the Sounders are one of the teams to beat in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Most of those “stall” plays occurred after frustrated Seattlians started fouling when they couldn’t get the ball back. I have to agree with Frank in saying that Seattle should not have finished with 11 guys on the field.

  2. @Ivar: “What SSFC lacks is a dedicated attacking CM.” Thank you! I’ve been saying this for about 2 years now. I like Brad Evans, but his constantly injured. I’m not an Estrada believer, he’s incredibly limited. Makes great runs off the ball, but makes terrible decisions with the ball. He hustles and is extremely fit, but I just can’t handle him being a starter or getting big minutes.

  3. Seattle has talented players but to say they have “far too much talent ” is a phrase that should be applied to LA Galaxy. LA has the same team as last year with a few additions that make them a tad deeper with the exception of Omar G’s injury. The Sounders trade for Johnson is a net gain if it doesn’t make them a little less deep (they gave up 2 second string players that contributed.)

  4. Columbus showed the Sounders how to move the ball quickly. Seattle’s buildup down the wings can be excruciating to watch. What SSFC lacks is a dedicated attacking CM. And it shows when we play poorly.

    Evans spends most of his time misplaying balls -out- and getting himself up off the mat. Sometimes its as if we have two DM’s in the middle.

    Not too worried about the long run this year. Sounders tend to go into these funks and it tends to improve the side overall.

    ESTRADA!!! stop passing the ball back and run at the defenders.. %$^*!!!

  5. JRP has a valid point because Santos is a good team but Seattle lost bad in CCL. Seattle has issues just like everyone else.

  6. I cannot agree with that observation. Please consider the fact that the teams just played on Saturday, some of the players were not match fit as they had just returned from injuries or have not played a whole lot so far this season, and add to that tha they had play on artificial turf. Never mind that Seattle was playing dirty and should have not finished the game with 11 men. Of course, the Crew was lucky that “only 1 was actually injured”.

  7. I think you’re jumping to conclusions about “time-wasting” that aren’t legit. The Crew players who experienced cramping issues in the second half were either just coming off injury (ex. Duka) or hadn’t played 90 minutes much this season (ex. Meram), and their lack of full-game fitness was compounded by the stress on their legs of playing on the fake stuff. Another guy was victimized by a two-footed studs-up challenge from Alonso, who was lucky to avoid a red card. Yes, the Crew parked the bus in terms of their playing style, but this wasn’t Central American style “time-wasting” where guys are rolling around on the ground like Donald Driver after winning Dancing with the Stars…

  8. The broadcast was terrible–couldn’t they zoom in just a little bit? Given the poor picture quality, it was hard to tell but it sure looked like Seattle was playin dirty, constantly pushing, pulling and complaining, and getting away with it.

  9. I think JRP is referring to HOW they fell in Champions League, not how far they got. It was the same way they fell in the playoffs after a strong regular season. I don’t think he was trolling.

  10. The recap may read like the Sounders played well, but they didn’t, they were horrible. Their three home losses puts them near the bottom for poor form at home. The 7 of 9 away matches coming up may be a blessing. Although they play the ball high over and over again they once again showed they have virtually no aerial threats. Sigi has another issue to deal with now, discipline. Players from the start, Fernandez in particular, were more interested in arguing with the ref than playing soccer. At the end, they committed fouls in frustration that will probably lead to suspensions after review. They look like 11 individuals each with their own agenda who create movement without purpose. Sigi must address the discipline problem, and accept the fact that they’re poor in the air, or continue to decline.

  11. EJ has speed but I have hardly seen anything to make me think he’s going to be much this season. He’s just been so clumsy and unmotivated; half the time his first touch is terrible, and if he gets by someone he usually takes too much time with the ball, gets stripped, then complains he didn’t get a foul. His work ethic has improved, but it’s still not anywhere near where it should be.

  12. To anyone who watched the game in Seattle, was it broadcast in HD? I watched the first 60 minutes here in Ohio on FS+HD, but it was definitely NOT HD quality.

  13. Legit criticism is not trolling. I am not a hater. Glad to have a league that has improved so much in the past two years that there is more than two good teams. Seattle just isn’t any better than any other legit team in the league. They have proved that very well in the past 4 games.

  14. Seattle’s offense is not clicking at all right now. They have far to much talent on the pitch to be struggling to score like they are. Could be a bit of fatigue, they have played a lot of games recently but clearly something is missing from the side. Can’t help but wonder if it is pace down the flanks, Fernandez and Rosales are both technically gifted but neither has blow by speed.

  15. They made the final 8 in the champions league, hardly a choke job. Plus they lost to a very good Santos side. Troll somewhere else

  16. I don’t get the infatuation of wanting to watch that while having the time remaining in the game hidden in the refs pocket.


    Bizarre and stupid.

  17. Once upon a time there was a Seattle team that was playing really well after choking in the playoffs and then again in Concacaf. Their fans thought they were unstoppable and should have been ranked #1 because they had played fewer games and had more points per game than any other team in the league. Now that they have played just as many games it is obvious they are a good team (top tier) but they aren’t any better or worse than the six other elite teams. Welcome to sea level Sounders.

  18. The “injuries” by the crew every 5 minutes was an embarrassment to soccer. We were joking saying there should have been close to 10 minutes of extra time as about 6 to 8 guys from the crew went down in the second half. Only 1 was actually injured, the rest were sprinting a minute after. Not saying the Sounders deserved to win at all, we were horrible, but the Crew played a horribly pathetic stall game.


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