for this game

Crew, Sounders play to 1-1 draw

May 31, 2009 - 5:56 AM By TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer

SEATTLE(AP) -- Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid didn't get an opportunity to enjoy seeing the Columbus players he led to the MLS Cup a year ago.

Schmid was too busy bemoaning the focus of his current team.

"We got overly concerned about the referee and weren't concerned enough at times about our play," Schmid said after Seattle and Columbus played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night. "I'm a big believer that you have so much energy to expend over 90 minutes and if you spend too much energy dealing with the referee you're not going to have that energy to deal with the game."

Alejandro Moreno's header past Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller gave Columbus an early lead, but Seattle forward Nate Jaqua answered in the 58th minute to give Seattle its fifth straight tie.

But Schmid, who spent three years rebuilding the Crew and capped his efforts with last year's league title, spent nearly 30 minutes after the game expressing his displeasure to his current squad for spending too much time arguing calls and nearly giving up goals. Seattle (4-2-5) hasn't won since April 25 and came away with a third draw in the last month where the Sounders had enough chances to easily end up with a victory.

"Those little things - we have to be more focused when the ball is out of play. ... If teams play quick on us and we're not ready, there is no excuse for that," Keller said.

While Seattle was finding numerous issues with its effort, the Crew were thrilled to come away with a draw, playing without defenseman Frankie Hejduk (groin) and midfieler Brian Carroll (shoulder), both back in Columbus with injuries.

Coming off its win over San Jose on Wednesday, Columbus (2-2-7) picked up four critical points this week and is unbeaten in its last seven.

"Injuries, national team callups, we played on Wednesday, we came here from Columbus, halfway across the country - we have to be happy," Columbus coach Robert Warzycha said.

Much of this game was about Schmid's reunion with the team he led to the league championship. Schmid's departure from Columbus was acrimonious after the Crew charged Seattle with tampering before Schmid was hired by the Sounders.

The 56-year-old Schmid, who went 34-33-25 in his three seasons with Columbus, took the field about 35 minutes before kickoff and was immediately surrounded by many of his former players.

Once the hugs and handshakes were over, Schmid saw his Sounders get outplayed for much of the first half.

Moreno's goal came in the 12th minute off a perfect cross from Pat Noonan. Moreno got a step on Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and directed the cross into the left corner of the Seattle goal.

"I (was) hoping for an early cross. It was a good goal for us and a very important goal," Moreno said.

The Sounders earned an opportunity to tie in the 31st minute thanks to Freddie Ljungberg, but the Swedish star then failed to finish.

Playing a perfect give-and-go with Steve Zakuani, Ljungberg was pushed from behind inside the penalty area by Jed Zayner and awarded a penalty kick. Ljungberg, who missed the previous two games with severe migraines, took the penalty, but his shot went wide of the left post.

Keller kept Seattle within a goal when he stopped Emmanuel Ekpo's shot from the top of the box with his right hand late in the first half, giving Jaqua a chance to get Seattle even.

Jaqua one-touched a pass from Zakuani to Ljungberg at the top of the box. Ljungberg controlled with his right foot and before the ball touched the ground, chipped a pass over the Columbus defense. Jaqua measured the ball flight perfectly and sent the volley past Columbus keeper Andy Gruenebaum for his third goal of the season.