By Money Mike
The Seattle Sounders outshot the Columbus Crew, they had more possession, they out dueled their opponent, they completely outplayed Columbus. However there was one problem, they couldn't find the back of the net. Despite all the chances the Sounders created in this game, they struggled to finish and it came back to haunt them as they fell at home to the Columbus Crew by a final count of 2-0. After winning five in a row, the Sounders have came away with only one point in their last three matches and you have to feel that they need to win on the road this Saturday against Chivas USA before their two week break from MLS.
In the 10th minute, Fredy Montero looked to score from a free kick but he hit the wall. The ball bounced to Osvaldo Alonso who cut inside to his right foot and fired a low right foot drive, but it was poorly hit and Andy Gruenebaum easily gathered it up.
So you may think the Sounders looked like the better side, but as head coach Sigi Schmid said after the game, goals change games and in the 15th minute, it was Columbus who got that goal. For the third game in a row, Adam Johansson got caught as Dilly Duke whipped in a very good cross to the far post and Justin Meram made a great run behind Johansson and headed the ball inside the right post for his third goal in as many matches. Johansson had to leave the match later on after picking up a hamstring injury. Let's just hope it's not too serious and hope to see him back on the pitch on June 16th following their two week break, but Johansson has struggled these last three matches. He's been getting caught out of position and should be held responsible for three of the five goals Seattle has conceded in these last three games.
The Sounders looked to get one back in the 18th minute. Marc Burch found Brad Evans at the top of the penalty area, but his header wasn't enough to trouble Andy Gruenebaum.
In the 33rd minute, David Estrada curled the ball near post for Eddie Johnson. However, Johnson didn't have much of an angle and his shot went well wide of goal. A few minutes later, Ozzie Alonso had a go from distance, but he couldn't hit the target.
In the dying seconds of the first half, Seattle nearly came through with the equalizer that surely would've changed the momentum of this game. Adam Johansson chipped the ball into the area for David Estrada. Estrada turned and sent in a cross to the far post for Alvaro Fernandez who was unmarked but his header was inches wide.
In the 51st minute, once again Seattle came close. David Estrada tried to feed an overlapping Adam Johansson, but the ball bounced awkwardly for him. Johansson was able to control it and play it back to Estrada who got his right foot around the ball and found Fredy Montero who shrugged off Carlos Mendes and fired it low on goal, but somehow Andy Gruenebaum kept that one out. Four minutes later, Estrada once again found Fredy Montero who was played onside by the Columbus Crew defense. Montero struck the ball low and hard again, but goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was equal to the task once again.
In the 76th minute, Columbus delivered the knockout punch. After the Sounders struggled to clear the ball out of their own half, the ball bounced nicely for Emilio Renteria who caught goalkeeper Bryan Meredith off his line and went for goal from a long way out. Meredith got a hand to it, but it was too late. Renteria scored what's surely a candidate for Goal of the Week and like I said earlier the Sounders are going to rue not being able to finish their chances in this match. The Sounders have already lost three matches at home this season, which is a bit of a problem. When you're one of the top teams in MLS, you have to take advantage of those home matches and these last couple home matches, the Sounders have struggled to produce.
I'm hoping the MLS disciplinary committee doesn't suspend Ozzie Alonso for Saturdays match against Chivas USA. There was one play where he came in two footed while challenging for the ball right in front of the referee, but the referee didn't give anything. Alonso did receive a yellow card later on in that match for infringement but I'm pretty sure the league is going to review that two footed challenge. There's a chance he could be banned for the next match, but we don't know for sure. We haven't heard anything regarding that, so as of right now Alonso is available for the away match on Saturday, but late in the match Alonso had difficulty controling his temper.
Bryan Meredith got the start again in goal for the Sounders for the injured Michael Gspurning who is expected to return on June 15th. He's done very well filling in for Gspurning has been out with a hip injury, but the second goal conceded was all on him because of the fact that he was off his line. These last couple of games have been tough for Bryan Meredith because the backline has struggled and because Meredith has been caught out of position a couple of times. He needs to communicate with his backline and make sure they're all on the same page in their next match because it looks like that'll be his last start before Michael Gspurning makes his return.
Disappointing result from Sigi Schmid and the rest of the coaching staff. This was a match that most of the folks would've expected this team to win, but shit like this have happened everywhere and will always happen and you just have to deal with it. I mean, I've dealt with it, but I will tell you it's painfull. lol. Bottomline is, this loss won't hurt the team that much. It's still early, there's a lot of matches to go. When we get to June, I believe that's where the Sounders will take off and really start to dominate the rest of the way during the season.
Columbus Crew - Justin Meram 3 (Dilly Duka 1, Emilio Renteria 1) 15'
Columbus Crew - Emilio Renteria (unassisted) 76'
Columbus Crew - Dilly Duka (caution; foul) 47'
Columbus Crew - Carlos Mendes (caution; foul) 71'
Seattle Sounders FC - Marc Burch (caution; foul) 85'
Seattle Sounders FC - Osvaldo Alonso (caution; persistant infringement) 88'
Columbus Crew - Andy Gruenebaum; Sebastian Miranda, Carlos Mendes, Josh Williams, Nemanja Vukovic; Dilly Duka (Tony Tchani 57'), Danny O'Rourke (Kevan George 44'), Eddie Gaven, Cole Grossman, Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor 80'); Emilio Renteria
Seattle Sounders FC - Bryan Meredith; Adam Johansson (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 61'), Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Marc Burch; David Estrada (Andy Rose 78'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Mauro Rosales 61'); Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson