COLUMBUS – Emilio Rentería drew the Crew even with a penalty kick in the 67th and Columbus earned their first point against their former coach as Columbus tied the Seattle Sounders 1-1 on Saturday in soggy Crew Stadium.
Fredy Montero scored in the 7th minute for Seattle.
The Crew (3-1-4) have still not lost since the first game, running their unbeaten streak to seven games. Rentería has scored all four Crew goals in the past three games, two coming on penalty kicks. Half of the team’s eight goals have come from the spot.
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Rentería's decisive kick on Saturday came after referee Mark Kadlecik whistled Patrick Ianni for pulling down Chad Marshall on a corner kick by Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven. Rentería put the shot down the middle for the equalizer and the Crew managed to threaten again late, but a tip save from Keller on a shot from Gaven in the 82nd minute helped preserve the draw.
Keller also parried a 23-yard free kick by Andres Mendoza in the first minute of stoppate time. The Crew, meanwhile, 13 of 14 shots in the second half, including the final 12 of the match.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is now unbeaten in six meetings (five MLS matchups and last year's US Open Cup final) against his former club, and the draw Saturday gave Seattle (3-3-4) some respite after a midweek loss on the road to D.C. United. The Sounders are 2-0-3 against the Crew all-time in league play since Schmid took the reigns in Seattle on the heels of his 2008 MLS Cup title with Columbus.
Montero put the Sounders ahead with a forceful header in the 7th minute, with the assist to Erik Friberg for his pinpoint cross from 35 yards to the center of the box. Montero slipped between Crew defenders Chad Marshall and Julius James and flicked the pass before onrushing goalkeeper William Hesmer could reach the ball. The goal was the fifth off a header this year for Seattle, which leads the league in that category.
Columbus countered with a threat in the 10th minute, but Keller made a diving stop to his right to deny Gaven’s shot from the right side of the goal box. Keller was also massive in the 32nd minute after Dilly Duka’s header at midfield led Robbie Rogers on a break. As Rogers neared the top of the 18-yard box, Keller stuck out his right leg to stop Rogers’ grounder.
A moment later, Gaven’s run to the right post resulted in a service by Rentería that he squeezed just to the outside of the frame as the teams played through a downpour.
Seattle’s best chance to increase the lead before the break came in the 29th minute, when Rich Balchan turned the ball over deep in the Crew end. Montero pounced on the loose ball but his shot was deflected by Marshall.
Crew coach Robert Warzycha tried to bolster the attack in the 61st minute when he switched to a 4-4-2 from a 4-5-1, with Mendoza replacing Duka.
The Sounders made four changes from Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at D.C. United: defenders Jeff Parke and Leo Gonzalez, midfielder Servando Carrasco and forward Roger Levesque. Going to the bench were Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl and Nate Jaqua. Also, midfielder Brad Evans, who scored the last three Sounders’ goals, was a late scratch due to a quadriceps strain.
The only change for the Crew was the return of the rookie Balchan at left back after missing the last match because of illness.
SEA -- Fredy Montero 2 (Erik Friberg 2) 7
CLB -- Emilio Renteria 4 (penalty kick) 67
Seattle Sounders -- 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: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl, Terry Boss.
Columbus Crew -- 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: Jeff Cunningham, Josh Gardner, Leandre Griffit, Andy Iro, Andy Gruenebaum.
SEA -- Servando Carrasco (caution; Reckless Tackle) 38
SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution; Reckless Tackle) 44
SEA -- Leo Gonzalez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 53
SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 64
CLB -- Sebastian Miranda (caution; Reckless Foul) 75
SEA -- Roger Levesque (caution; Reckless Tackle) 90
Referee: Mark Kadlecik
Referee's Assistants: Steven Taylor; James Conlee
4th Official: Mark Geiger
Time of Game: 1:50