The tie at Dallas FC seemed wrong, but really only because of one play. The tie at Real Salt Lake was frustrating for the same reason. You might even say there were frustrating aspects about the loss at Toronto.
Today's tie was easily the worst, though.
It was 45 minutes of excruciating anticipation for a tie that just felt destined to come. Two hit posts. A phantom penalty that wiped out another extra-time goal. Other penalties that seemed obvious, but weren't called.
The Sounders came out on fire Saturday. They were breaking down the Columbus defense, on the wings and up the middle. Sounders were running free all over the field.
Steve Zakuani's goal in the fourth minute felt like it might start an avalanche, that was how good the Sounders looked even that early in the game. Freddie Ljungberg's miss on a one-on-one a few minutes later wasn't even that frustrating, since the Sounders had dominated so thoroughly.
Through 45 minutes, the Sounders looked like a team that had finally figured out.
Then Hair happened. Patrick Ianni was unable to get a mark on Steven Lenhart, who scored the equalizing goal in stoppage time of the first half.
The game definitely changed after that. The Sounders still dominated the run of play in the second half, but never the way they did in the first.
Ljungberg and Fredy Montero both hit posts in the second half (I could be remembering that wrong, btw), and all of a sudden a tie felt like it might be in the offing.
For a fleeting moment, it appeared as if the Sounders had pulled off another miracle stoppage time goal. But Montero's goal was wave off after the 145-pound Sanna Nyassi was whistled for pulling down the 205-pound Andy Iro. Replays seemed to show that Iro tripped over himself, if anyone at all. No matter, it's another tie in what is shaping up as a frustrating season.
To be sure, this was probably the best complete game the Sounders have played this year. The passing was sharp. The missed opportunities seemed to be bad luck more than poor execution. There are reasons to feel good after this game.
Right now, though, this is frustrating. To come away with 1 point, at home, against the defending Supporter's Shield winners does not feel good. We were the best team out there. We deserved 3 points.
UPDATE: Quotes and stats after the jump
Scoring Summary: SEA -- Steve Zakuani 3 (Freddie Ljungberg 2, Fredy Montero 3) 4 CLB -- Steven Lenhart 1 (Danny O'Rourke 1, Eddie Gaven 1) 46+ Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk, Eric Brunner, Andy Iro, Danny O'Rourke, Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll, Adam Moffat (Jason Garey 90), Robbie Rogers, Steven Lenhart, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Jed Zayner 87). Misconduct Summary: CLB -- Danny O'Rourke (caution; Reckless Tackle) 28 CLB -- Brian Carroll (caution; Reckless Tackle) 59 CLB -- Danny O'Rourke (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85 CLB -- Danny O'Rourke (ejection; Second Caution) 85 CLB -- Guillermo Barros Schelotto (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 87 Referee: Ricardo Salazar Referee's Assistants: -Corey Rockwell; Darren Clark 4th Official: Paul Ward Attendance: 36,219 Time of Game: 1:49 Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-55-degrees
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Burns, Duncan Oughton, Emilio Renteria, Sergio Herrera, Kenny Schoeni.
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Steven Lenhart 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 12 (Danny O'Rourke 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Andy Iro 1, Steven Lenhart 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Guillermo Barros Schelotto 4); SAVES: 2 (William Hesmer 2)
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans (Sanna Nyassi 66), Peter Vagenas, Osvaldo Alonso, Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani.
Substitutes Not Used: Tyrone Marshall, Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl, David Estrada, Miguel Montano, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Fredy Montero 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 16 (4 tied with 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (3 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 9 (Freddie Ljungberg 9); SAVES: 2 (Kasey Keller 2)
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial
SEA -- Steve Zakuani 3 (Freddie Ljungberg 2, Fredy Montero 3) 4
CLB -- Steven Lenhart 1 (Danny O'Rourke 1, Eddie Gaven 1) 46+
Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk, Eric Brunner, Andy Iro, Danny O'Rourke, Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll, Adam Moffat (Jason Garey 90), Robbie Rogers, Steven Lenhart, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Jed Zayner 87).
CLB -- Danny O'Rourke (caution; Reckless Tackle) 28
CLB -- Brian Carroll (caution; Reckless Tackle) 59
CLB -- Danny O'Rourke (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85
CLB -- Danny O'Rourke (ejection; Second Caution) 85
CLB -- Guillermo Barros Schelotto (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 87
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: -Corey Rockwell; Darren Clark
4th Official: Paul Ward
Time of Game: 1:49
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-55-degrees
Seattle Sounders FC 1 vs. Columbus Crew 1 - Quotes
Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach
(Opening statement...) "We obviously wanted to play more offensive, we've been working on that. We wanted to do a better job possessing the ball, creating opportunities again because in Toronto we did a little better with that but we wanted to grow. I thought the 4-3-3 suited us well. I thought we created a number of chances. We fell asleep right before the end of the first half and gave away a goal that we shouldn't give away. Those things are starting to become very bothersome and something that we have to address. Overall I thought when I looked at the majority of the game I was very proud of how our team played, the effort we put in I thought was very good. We created and if we continue to play along that vein, I think luck will return to us."
(On whether it was one of the better efforts this season...) "Yeah, I thought it was one of our more complete efforts of the season, for sure. From that standpoint I thought it was solid. But again, it was elementary mistakes on the goal. (Steven) Lenhart's their best header of the ball and to have him to be unmarked in the box is criminal."
(On early goal...) "It was a good goal by Zakuani and then we had the other chances, we were sniffing around the box. Evans with the near post run, Montero had some good looks. One later in the game when he gets the right-footed shot. You expect him to do better with that. Yeah, you're hoping that this is the game it happens for you. Obviously I'd like to get more than one."
(On defensive breakdown and Alonso...) "You talk about it all the time, when a team is going to cross the ball, the grass isn't going to score on you, the opponent is. So you always want to make sure that you have a body on everyone. It was a case of Kennedy was stepped in front and Patrick, instead of calling Kennedy back, was the man who was between Kennedy and Patrick stepped up to the man and left Lenhart behind him. He's got to take Lenhart, he's got to get Kennedy back a step or two and then it gets locked up and then it's not a problem. Lenhart had got open for a header about five minutes earlier than when he came inside of James Riley. That's just something we've got to make sure it doesn't happen. That's the plight of a defender, everybody thinks defending is easier; you don't have to create. You don't have to do all that stuff, but if you play 89 minutes of good concentrated soccer and you have 10 seconds of a lapse, it can hurt your team which is something offensively, you can make 10 mistakes and the, well, we didn't get a goal, kind of thing. I thought Alonso played well. I thought the middle of our midfield, there was only a period of time in the second half, they adjusted by bringing (Eddie) Gaven inside, moving (Adam) Moffat outside and there was a period of the time there for about 10-15 minutes where I thought they had a little more of the ball. Outside of that, I thought our midfield pretty much controlled theirs."
(On Evans...) "I thought he did well. He plays with a lot of energy and he came out because he had a sore hamstring, not because he wasn't playing well. We were concerned about the hamstring, wanted to make sure it didn't get worse. He plays with a lot of energy, he's not the kind of winger who's going to get the ball on the line and do six step-overs and beat the guy, but what he does is he tries to get on the end of crosses and he tries to make space, and makes hard runs. We need that from all our forwards, we need those hard runs from all our forwards."
(On 4-3-3...) "I think it was good, early on especially. You look at the spaces Freddie Ljungerg got, he was able to slip people in, he was able to make some runs from deep. It's a position I want him playing deeper than he was been playing for us. It's something we'll continue to work on and grow with, but I think it's something that suits us."
Steve Zakuani - Sounders FC Midfielder
(On his goal . . .) "In the first half of the game, I checked the clock and there were three minutes in and I hadn't touched the ball yet. So I kind of wanted to find the ball and they stepped up high and beat the outside and I was just one-on-one. I waited for him to make a move. He didn't. He stood up well. So then I just took it around him because he had space behind him and fortunately I got around him and got a goal."
(On Columbus' goal . . .) "I think it was a great ball first of all. At the same time, we should probably be more clean in the box but I think it comes from before that. I think we played fantastic for the first 40 minutes. The last five we kind of sat off them and waited for them to come at us. I think it starts from the defensive end, put full pressure on them and maybe the ball doesn't get there. So it's all around but of course I'm disappointed. I thought we had enough chances. First half we could have been up two or three maybe and we would've beat a good team. I think we dominated and that's great for our club."
Peter Vagenas - Sounders FC Midfielder
(On tonight's match . . .) "For me, you see a team like Columbus and they have been together for years now. Their movement is probably a tad bit sharper in the final third but, at the end of the day, I think we created a little more and that's just from sheer quality of players. I think as those guys get more comfortable, again it's a new formation, guys are tweaked a little bit, but at the same time I think we are so talented in the final third that it's important that guys like Zakuani, Ljungberg, Montero and Evans sort of don't really worry about the defensive end but when we win the ball they got to make things go. I know they are disappointed we only put one in the back of the net because that's their job. But at the same time, I think we can do a little better job of getting the ball in the right places."
Kasey Keller - Goalkeeper
(On tonight's match . . .) Obviously extremely disappointed. We could have comfortable been winning by two or three goals in the first half. It didn't happen. You keep teams in games, you get punished. For the most part, I was very please. We are definitely moving in the right direction. It's close. Close doesn't quite cut it though. We'll see what happens here in the next couple weeks but I'm optimistic that we are moving in the right direction."
(On how the team is improving . . .) "I am still optimistic that we are going to turn that corner. Like I said, it's close. I keep feeling that it's going to happen and it's getting better and better. But better and better without the victories doesn't mean a whole lot. So at some stage it's all about winning games or picking up points that we should pick up and today obviously we should have picked up three points and we didn't."
Robert Warzycha - Crew Head Coach
(On his impressions of the match...) "I think Seattle probably had the better game, they controlled the possession. They were playing pretty well; we played better in the second half. We were happy with the result."
(On getting the goal at the end of the first half...) "The goal before the half is a perfect timing, probably everyone was thinking about halftime. Scoring at the end of the first half and at the end of a game is always good. To go one-one into halftime is good, going into halftime down one-nothing you never know what is going to happen. We're happy to score."
(On his team's starting off the season without a loss...) "Hard work and determination. We have a good group of guys who understand how to play and respect each other. They leave everything on the field, and work hard. We are getting rewarded for our hard work."
William Hesmer - Crew Goalkeeper
(On coming up with a number of saves during the second half...) "I don't think we had our best half with the ball, but our defending has been great all year. I'm proud of our guys on how we defended throughout this season. We got our rhythm this second half, and I thought we were the better team the second half. I'm sure Seattle is disappointed they didn't come out of here with three points, but you have to defend. We have been successful because of our defense."
Steven Lenhart - Crew Forward
(On scoring the goal at the end of the first half...) "First goal if the year, it was a great ball by Danny O'Rourke. I just headed it back where it came from. Danny had a better red card. I'm just kidding. I didn't do much, it felt good to score."