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By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN
(AP) -- Since Sigi Schmid left the Columbus Crew to coach the Seattle Sounders, he has never lost to his former team.
The Sounders are unbeaten in seven all-time meetings with the Crew and scored their highest MLS goal total the last time these clubs met heading into Wednesday night's matchup at CenturyLink Field.
After Schmid guided Columbus (3-4-3) to the 2008 MLS Cup, he took over expansion Seattle in 2009. The Sounders (7-2-2) have four wins and three draws in all competitions against the Crew, most recently winning 6-2 at home Aug. 27, 2011.
Schmid doesn't sound confident about his current attack, even though Seattle rallied twice for a 2-2 draw at Vancouver on Saturday. Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero had the Sounders' goals.
The coach was finally able to use a lineup featuring his four best attacking players in Johnson, Montero, Mauro Rosales and Alvaro Fernandez, but felt that the group lacked fluidity.
"It's still a little disjointed," Schmid said. "I think Mauro is not playing his best right now but I know it will come and Flaco (Fernandez), this was his first start in a long time (April 7), so his rhythm and timing is going to come as well. It's a matter of us understanding how to put those four guys on the field together."
Seattle's strength has been a defense that has yielded a league-low six goals. Three have been allowed over the last three games with injured defenders Leo Gonzalez (quad) and Patrick Ianni (back) out, and it's unlikely they will return Wednesday.
"I still don't think we're sharp (defensively), per se," Schmid said. "We are missing a lot of defenders, guys that are out injured right now, Leo Gonzalez, Ianni."
Midfielder Brad Evans looks set to return after missing two games with a calf injury.
Columbus is completing a two-game West Coast trip after settling for a 1-1 draw with San Jose on Saturday. Justin Meram scored before halftime to put the Crew ahead before they conceded the tying goal in the 90th minute.
Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum had all of the game's seven saves. The Crew were outshot 24-9 overall while employing a defensive approach.
"Sometimes, you get pushed inside the box, and you have to be comfortable defending," said coach Robert Warzycha, an assistant under Schmid with Columbus from 2005-08. "If you're comfortable defending, the other team is not going to score. You can't be afraid because you're defending."
Meram scored the previous week as a substitute and added a goal in his first 2012 start. He started four of 17 games as a rookie in 2011 and never scored.
"As a rookie last year, I didn't get much of a chance," Meram said. "Finally when I got the monkey off my back (last week), now I go out and play. I feel comfortable. I got that natural instinct back, which is good."
Midfielder Milovan Mirosevic left Saturday's game with a groin injury and could be replaced in the lineup by Dilly Duka.
Updated May 22, 2012