October 17, 2012
Scoreless in Seattle
REAL SALT LAKE 0, SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 0
SEATTLE—Seattle Sounders FC played shorthanded for a full hour, but still managed to snap Real Salt Lake’s four-game winning streak with a scoreless draw Wednesday night at Century Link Field.
Sounders defender Zach Scott received two quick yellow cards, for a professional foul on RSL’s Fabian Espindola in the tenth minute and for taking Javier Morales down from behind at the half-hour mark, and was sent off. Midfielder Brad Evans was shifted back to defense, and midfielder-defender Mike Seamon saw his first minutes of the year as the Sounders went into damage-control mode.
RSL did little to capitalize on the man advantage until the second half. It wasn’t until the 49th minute that Morales had RSL’s first solid look at goal, a hard, long shot that Sounders ‘keeper Michael Gspurning did well to tip over the bar. Kyle Beckerman missed on another long-range attempt in the 75th, but the best chances came as the patchwork Seattle defense began to tire in stoppage time. Chris Schuler latched onto a ball in the right side of the box and hit a hard left-footer on goal, forcing Gspurning into a fine diving parry, and Substitute MF Sebastian Velasquez came even closer seconds later, collecting MF Jonny Steele’s layoff eight yards out and firing a low left-footer to the near post. Gspurning got his body in front of the shot but didn’t hold the ball and the rebound was inches away from sneaking inside the right bar.
Not surprisingly, the Sounders best chances came early. RSL’s Luis Gil robbed Fredy Montero of a back-post chance in the seventh minute, and Sammy Ochoa missed on a close-in header in the 22nd.
RSL (17-11-5, 56 pts) remain second in the MLS West, and need one point from their October 27 regular season finale against Vancouver to clinch a top-three seed in West. Seattle are third in the conference at 14-7-11 and 53 points.