The Seattle Sounders, looking very much like a team dealing with a rash of key injuries and playing their third game within the space of a week, survived a late onslaught to see out a 1-1 draw at Columbus Crew Stadium. Seattle went ahead early thanks to Fredy Montero's 8th minute header but Columbus drew level thanks to an Emilio Renteria penalty-given after Patrick Ianni was judged to have pulled the Columbus striker down in the box during a corner-in the 67th minute. It was all Columbus in the last half hour and several huge saves from Kasey Keller were needed in order to preserve the draw.
The first hour was a back-and-forth affair with each side enjoying spells of dangerous possession but the last thirty minutes were all Columbus and despite all three Sounders substitutions being of the attacking variety they were unable to make much of an impression on the game. It was wave after wave of attack for the Crew, but the defense was largely up to the task and when they failed Keller was there to care of things. The Crew's best chance-and Keller's best save-came from an Andrés Mendoz free kick from just outside the box that Keller tipped over the bar.
The conditions in Columbus were atrocious, the entire game being played in a heavy downpour, and it wreaked havoc on the weight of passes with the ball on occasion being held up by the water logged pitch and at other times skidding heavily of of reach. The Crew were able to largely cancel out the rain's effect by producing most of their chances through aerial crosses while the Sounders were rarely in possession long enough to do the same.
It was far from the best the Sounders have looked this season, but in the end a solid result against a team that's proven to be a very tall order on their home pitch. The key for the Seattle must now be to return to get Mauro Rosales and Brad Evans back to full strength. Without those two players the Sounders are a very different team, forced to turn to Servando Carrasco-a pure defensive midfielder-to fill the box to box role.
Seattle's attentions will now turn to the Portland Timbers who will pay visit to Qwest Field for the first time in MLS play on Saturday, May 15th.