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Sounders end Crew's 24-game home unbeaten run

Oct 4, 2009 - 2:27 AM By BOB STEIN STATS MLS Correspondent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (STATS) - The Columbus Crew saw its 24-game home unbeaten streak brought to an end by the same coach who started it.

Roger Levesque's first career goal gave the Seattle Sounders a 1-0 win over the Crew, who were led to last season's MLS Cup championship by current Seattle coach Sigi Schmid.

"It's ironic," Schmid said. "It seems like sometimes, the same team is on the bookends of the streak. Obviously we're a new team, but this is a tough place to play."

Schmid would know. Not only did he take the Crew to its first-ever league championship in 2008, but Columbus had the best record in MLS last year as it embarked on its league-record unbeaten run at home.

The Crew had an opportunity to extend the streak late in the game when 2008 MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto - a player Schmid flew to Argentina to lobby to come to Columbus - fired a penalty kick wide left in the 84th minute.

"He's not going to miss very often," Schmid said. "So we'll take it."

Columbus was awarded the penalty after Sounders defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado used both hands to push down Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven from behind near the endline.

Columbus had not been beaten at home in 22 straight regular-season games, in addition to two playoff matches last season.

Levesque's goal came in the 36th minute. Midfielder Brad Evans sent a through ball to Fredy Montero near the penalty spot that Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer intercepted. But Hesmer was unable to hold on to the ball and it fell to Levesque, who was left with a tap-in into an open goalmouth.

Levesque made his second career start and was playing in place of Nate Jaqua, who was suspended due to yellow-card accumulation.

Seattle defender Tyrone Marshall made an acrobatic play on the goal line in the 71st minute, flipping backwards to redirect Steven Lenhart's header away from an open goal to preserve the Sounders' lead.

"The ball, for some reason, didn't want to go into the net," Crew coach Robert Warzycha said of his team's missed chances. "Sometimes you have games like this. But overall, our players worked hard."

Moments later, Osvaldo Alonso nearly doubled the lead for Seattle when his long-range shot caromed off the right goalpost and hit Hesmer in the back, deflecting it toward the goal. But the ball's spin caused it to take an improbable bounce and reverse direction on the goal line.

Kasey Keller made the game's best save in the 80th minute when he dove to his right to keep out Brian Carroll's blistering 21-yard shot.

Crew defender Danny O'Rourke was carded in the 62nd minute and will miss the team's game against at New England on Oct. 10 due to yellow-card accumulation.