Sigi Schmid took the Seattle Sounders FC back to his old MLS Cup-winning stomping grounds, a team he’s had great success against. Seattle has never lost in Columbus and only lost once in seven matches to the Crew.
So on August 31, the Sounders came to Columbus looking to continue their incredibly hot August play. Seattle came into the match 3-1-0 and looked like a team finding its legs with the recent addition of Clint Dempsey.
Down to 10 men, the Sounders didn’t sit back and defend but counter attacked as often as possible. They earned a goal in the 14th minute with the Mauro Rosales to Eddie Johnson connection that is paying huge dividends lately. Speaking of paying, Johnson made sure to make clear his feelings about his pay scale with his “Pay Me” goal celebration.
He is making $156,333 in guaranteed compensation this season. That’s not bad for the MLS but the team has splashed out recently to designated player Clint Dempsey ($5 million) and Obafemi Martins ($1.7 million).
He’s got a point; this goal gives him seven on the season, tied with Martins for the team lead. This is the second match in a row that he’s scored the only goal. It’s also the second match in a row that the goal was set up by a cross from Rosales.
I think Johnson should get a raise but he should also remember that Seattle was the only team that gave him a shot after he’d burned all his bridges everywhere else. There were a lot of articles openly questioning team management for trading to get Johnson. It’s time he acted a little classier and let his agent do the negotiations.
More bad news came in the 19th minute, as Brad Evans had to leave the match with a calf strain. There has been no update to his status at this time but the Sounders need to get him back soon.
Going for 85 minutes down a man and holding on to such a tenuous lead, the Sounders played their asses off against a frequently frustrated Columbus side. Seattle was able to get almost as much possession as the Crew, 43% to 57%, and almost as many shots on target with two for Seattle and three for Columbus.
The Crew took 24 shots overall compared to seven for the Sounders, but 11 of those were blocked or hurriedly taken. At times it seemed like Columbus was the team a man down because they weren’t setting up any kind of sustained pressure against Seattle.
The win takes the Sounders to 12-8-4 and to 40 points, good for third in the Western Conference while still having the fewest games played overall. The cellar team in the West, Chivas, comes to Seattle on Wednesday as Seattle begins a three-game home stand.
Photo Credits: ESPN.com, MLSSoccer.com