Sounders Insider

The morning after: Sounders 1, Crew 0

Here's my game story. And here's the coverage from the Columbus Dispatch. Here are the new-look MLS standings.

This is a travel day for me, so there probably won't be much news here, but it seems that this win and all its implications should leave plenty to talk about.

Seattle (10-7-11) moved past Colorado in the MLS standings and joins Chivas USA and Chicago in a three-way tie for fourth place.

Kasey Keller implied that scouting information caused him to stay in the middle of the goal on Schelotto's PK and that the resulting shank might have come as Schelotto tied to adjust in mid-kick.

It was Columbus' first home loss since June 7, 2008 – when they were coached by Schmid. Since then, the Crew had 16 wins and six losses over its previous 22 games at Crew Stadium.

“Soccer is a strange game,” Schmid said. “Last week, we thought we were a little bit unlucky in (losing at) New England. This week, we had fortune on our side. It’s not often Guillermo misses a PK. We had post save us. They had the post save them. … They’re the best team in the league, and (this win) is something we’re very proud of.”

Meanwhile, Schmid said he was well-received by Crew fans ... within reason: "The fans were great. …The receptionof the fans was tremendous. Obviously once the game started and especailly at the end as we were hanging on we got heckled a little bit. But that’s to be imagined. It was very good and I was very happy to be welcomed back."

A few other quotes:

Here's Levesque on his goal: “It was just a mess. Both of the Freddies did all of the work. Ljungberg turned, spun, I don’t know what he did, but … Montero put pressure on the goalkeeper, and then he spilled it. I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Here's Tyrone Marshall descibing the goal that he saved just inches from the goal line: “It was a reactionary play. Kasey and me collided and I saw the ball going into the goal. So, the only thing was to see if I could get my foot up there and keep the ball from going in. It was one of those things where we’re grateful that it happened.”

And he's Keller describing the penalty kick Schelotto missed, picking up on something Schmid had said earlier about scouting reports tipping the Sounders that Schelotto likes shooting to the middle.

“We had a pretty good idea of what he was trying to do, and I think he changed his mind at the last minute because I kind maybe outthought him a bit,” Keller said. “Sometimes that works -- when a guy’s waiting for you to move, and you don’t move, and he has to change his mind at the last second.”

And finally, from Columbus coach Robert Warzycha:“We played a very good game. We played one of our best games, I would say, this season. The ball, for some reason, didn’t want to go in the net. Sometimes, you have games like this, but overall, the performance was there and the players left their hearts out on the field.”

Playoff tickets:Although they have not yet clinched a playoff berth, Sounders season-ticket holders will be offered a chance to purchase playoff tickets starting Monday. This isn't cockiness. The logistics are just such that the process needs to get going now that the playoffs are less than a month away.

Final: Sounders win, 1-0, picking up whhat might be three incalculably huge points in the MLS standings. Sounders are now 10-7-11; 41 pts.)

It was Columbus' first home loss since June 7, 2008 ... when Sigi Schmid was coach.

Attendance: 14,372.Stat summary:

Scoring Summary:

SEA -- Roger Levesque (unassisted) 36

Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer, Jed Zayner (Steven Lenhart 64), Eric Brunner, Danny O’Rourke, Gino Padula, Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll, Kevin Burns (Emmanuel Ekpo 71), Robbie Rogers, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Alejandro Moreno (Emilio Renteria 77).

Substitutes Not Used: Duncan Oughton, Adam Moffat, Andy Iro, Kenny Schoeni.


Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Freddie Ljungberg, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Sebastien Le Toux 64), Roger Levesque (Patrick Ianni 69), Fredy Montero (Peter Vagenas 89).

Substitutes Not Used: Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl, Stephen King, Terry Boss.


Misconduct Summary:

CLB -- Alejandro Moreno (caution; Simulation) 55CLB -- Danny O’Rourke (caution; Reckless Foul) 62CLB -- Steven Lenhart (caution; Dissent) 95+

Referee: Ricardo SalazarReferee’s Assistants: CJ Morgante; Robert Fereday4th Official: Mikael LundqvistAttendance: 14,372Time of Game: 90:00Weather: Cloudy and 60 degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.

81st minute: Hurtado body blocks Gaven in box for no apparent reason, resulting in penalty kick. Schelotto misses PK wide left ... his first PK miss in nine career tries.

70th minute: Marshall clears an in-bound tying ball from Steven Lenhart off the line.

68th minute: Ianni in for Levesque.

64th minute: Le Toux in for Zakuani, who had a mostly uneventful return to Ohio.

Second half: Has begun.

Btw, the game is being played with a silver ball in honor of the presence of the reigning MLS champion: Columbus.

Today's ref, by the way, is Ricardo Salazar ... the same guy who gave Beckham the red card when Seattle was in LA.

Halftime: Columbus controlled for a long middle stretch of the half, and I'm sure they'll have domination of the stats. But the Sounders got the goal. (And could have been in good shape for another with an apparent handball in the box.)

A few halftime stats: Shots, 6-4 Columbus; shots on goal, 2-1, Seattle; Corners, 3-2 Columbus; offsides, 4-1 Seattle; fouls, 5-3 Seattle.

35th minute: Sigi Schmid looks like a genius as surprise starter Roger Levesque just put Seattle ahead, 1-0. Fredy Montero put a shot off of the charging sprawling Columbus keeper William Hesmer, and it Levesque rolled the rebound in from the top of the area.

Kickoff: We're under way, Sounders in blue/blue, Crew is yellow/yellow.

(Sigi Schmid, by the way, said this week that there's no superstition involved in the blue uniforms. The green is just too close in lightness to the yellows.)

Reminder: The game is on KONG 6/16.

Gonzalez gets national call: THis just in from Sounders:

The Seattle Sounders FC announced today that the Costa Rica National Team has called in defender Leo Gonzalez for two World Cup qualifiers.

Costa Rica hosts Trinidad & Tobago on October 10 and plays the United States in Washington, D.C., on October 14.

The Sounders FC has a bye in its schedule after Saturday’s match at Columbus and does not play again until October 17 in Kansas City.

Gonzalez, who has 60 international caps, was last called in by Costa Rica for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July. He played the full 90 minutes for the Ticos against El Salvador on July 3.

Going into the final two CONCACAF group qualifying games, Costa Rica (4-4-0) is fourth with 12 points. The U.S. leads with 15, followed by Mexico (13) and Honduras (12).

The top three teams qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place team will face South America’s fifth-place team in a playoff to determine another berth.

Gonzalez has started the last eight MLS matches at left back for Seattle. He also was in the first XI for the U.S. Open Cup Final.

Lineups: Lineups just released.

For Seattle: GK Keller, D Riley, Hurtado, Marshall, Gonzalez, M Ljungberg, Alonso, Evans, Zakuani; F Montero, Levesque. Reserves: Boss, Ianni, Sturgis, Wahl, King, Vagenas, Le Toux.

For Columbus: GK Hesmer, D Brunner, O'Rourke, Zayner, Padula; M Gaven, urns, Carroll, Rogers; F Schelotto, Moreno.

Pregame: It's a cloudy, breezy evening in Columbus, but no rain as I write this ... about 100 minutes until kickoff.

The Crew dance team is out on the pitch practicing, um, entertainment. They're called the Crewzers. And say, let me take a moment here to thank Sounders management for sparing us a dance team.

Also visible on the pitch are the ghost lines and numbers from a high school football doubleheader played here last night. From what little I can tell from the press box -- which is pretty close to the pitch -- the field doesn't show any real sign of being chewed up by the football.

Normal gameday blogging plan here: pregame news as it happens, lineups as they're announced, then in-game updates and postgame discussion.