SEATTLE -- The Columbus Crew withstood a blistering first half by Sounders FC, rallied for an equalizer and held on for a 1-1 draw Saturday night at Qwest Field to retain their unbeaten start to the 2010 season.
Seattle got off to a lightning-quick start and dominated the first half. Applying high pressure, the Sounders struck in the fourth minute when Eric Brunner clattered into the back of Fredy Montero.
As Crew defenders awaited the whistle for a foul, quick-thinking Freddie Ljungberg one-timed the ball into the path of a streaking Steve Zakuani.
The first overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft calmly juked Will Hesmer and finished the simple tap-in to give Seattle an early lead.
A similar play nearly doubled Seattle's lead just four minutes later, when Montero played the ball through the flat-footed Crew defense to meet Ljungberg's run. Through on goal with a narrow angle, the Swede's shot couldn't outwit Hesmer, who batted the shot out for a corner.
After the initial blitz, Columbus settled into the match and found their feet in midfield.
As the first half came to a close, fullback Danny O'Rourke made up for an earlier yellow card by curling a delicate ball to the far post, where Steven Lenhart snuck through the Seattle defense to head home his first goal of the season and to silence the 36,219 fans at Qwest Field.
The second half was considerably tighter, punctuated by a few moments of individual brilliance. Fredy Montero and Ljungberg both narrowly missed on highlight-reel goals as Seattle looked for an edge.
Seattle applied heavy pressure in the dying minutes, especially with Columbus down a man thanks to O'Rourke picking up a second yellow in the 85th minute and being sent off.
Montero put the ball in the back of the net in injury time, but it was called back for a foul in the box, allowing the Crew to escape with the point.