The Seattle Sounders possessed the ball for long stretches Saturday, but they put only one shot on target in settling for a scoreless home draw with Sporting Kansas City.
The visitors came in with a cautious, defensive attitude that limited the Sounders to few chances, and none that they were able to take advantage of.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the tie at home,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We always want to win when we’re at home. We had more possession. … In the second half we had a couple of really clean looks … and in a game like this you’re not going to get 10 or 15 chances. So you’re only going to get one or two, and you have to finish them when you can.”
Both teams were without key players. Seattle’s Obafemi Martins missed his second consecutive game with a leg injury. Meanwhile, SKC’s Graham Zusi (concussion) spent the first 76 minutes on the bench, and Dom Dwyer was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to a neck injury.
Seattle played the final minutes without midfielder Gonzalo Pineda, who suffered an ankle injury. No immediate prognosis was given.
The teams have a history of close, low-scoring games with no resolution until the final reel. The teams have met 10 times and there has never been more than a one-goal margin of victory. The Sounders scored stoppage times goals in five of the games, including the game-winners in 2013 and ’14.
Seattle ran its unbeaten run against Kansas City to nine games, a streak dating to April 2009. No game in the series has ever been decided by more than a single goal.
The Sounders will return to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday when the Colorado Rapids visit CenturyLink Field.
FT: Sounders and SKC play to scoreless draw.
Sounders' 6-3-2 record leaves them a point behind Dallas in the West and two behind DC for Shield.
84' Interesting final Sounders' sub: Darwin Jones in for Barrett.
77' Graham Zusi on for Carrasco.
75' Scoreless. However, of the 12 goals the Sounders have scored in this series, eight have come after the 75th minute.
64' Rose on for Neagle.
Second half: ...has begun. No changes.
Halftime: Sounders 0, SKC 0. Seattle the better play and the better chances, and mostly the better stats. Shots 6-3 SEA; on target 2-0 KC; corners 2-0 SEA; pass accuracy 80.9%-66.7% SEA; possession 69.5% SEA.
30' Scoreless. All the crisp passing from Vancouver a no-show so far. Goals traditionally pretty rare in this series.
First 15 minutes: Scoreless. Sloppy.
First kick: ... has been struck. Sounders in rave/blue; SKC in white, white.
Also, announcement that Dom Dwyer is a scratch from SKC starting lineup due to neck injury. Jimmy Medranda takes his place. SKC going with 17-man roster.
Lineups: For Sounders: Frei; Mears, Evans, Marshall, Remick; Pappa, Alonso, Pineda, Neagle; Dempsey, Barrett. Bench: Perkins, Scott, Gonzalez, Azira, Roldan, Rose, Jones. So, as expected, no Oba.
For SKC: Melia; Anibaba, Besler, Ellis, Dia; Carrasco, Nemeth, Geilhaber, Mustivar, Peterson; Medranda. Bench: Marin, Abdul-Salaam, Hallisey, Medranda, Nagamura, Rogers, Zusi. (Zusi had been listed as questionable with a concussion.)
Pregame: It's a cloudy but comfortable day at CenturyLink Field about two hours before the first kick from Sounders and Sporting Kansas City.
The game will be shown on JOEtv, heard on the usual radio outlets, and blogged here, with additional updates and comments on Twitter @donruiztnt.