Despite the lack of goals, there was plenty of action – right down to stoppage time when Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez and Chivas defender Mariano Trujullo both received straight red cards after some jostling from Gonzalez drew a looping elbow from Trujullo.
The incident occurred so late that it had little immediate impact. However, it means that both players must miss their next league game. In Gonzalez’s case, the Aug. 28 home match against Chicago.
Both teams also had goal-scoring opportunities. Meanwhile, Sounders designated player Blaise Nkufo came the closest in the first half, losing defender Jonathan Bornstein in the penalty area and then having his shot deflected into the side netting. Later, Sanna Nyassi headed a Nkufo pass into the right post.
In the 89th minute, Osvaldo Alonzo unleashed a sizzling shot from outside the box. It seemed destined to become the MLS goal of the week until Thornton slapped it aside it what might end up being the MLS save of the week.
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Keller was called on for three saves.
In the end, the twin zeros added up in several notable ways. The result:
*marked Seattle’s first scoreless draw of the season.
* extended the Sounders’ scoreless run against Chivas to 360 minutes – they have never scored in their four games against the Goats.
* extended Seattle’s defensive shutout run in MLS play to three games.
* marked Kasey Keller’s eighth shutout of the season.
* ended Seattle’s league winning streak at four games, but extended their non-losing streak to six. The Sounders now stand at 8-8-5 and are alone in fourth place in the MLS Western Conference.
* ended Montero’s run of recording a goal or an assist at nine straight MLS games.
However, Montero played 85 minutes and gave every indication of being available Thursday when Sounders FC begins CONCACAF Champions League
Group play with a visit to Marathon of Honduras.
The Chivas (5-10-4) game also marked the first MLS start for designated player Alvaro Fernandez and the first 90-minute performance for Nkufo.
The quick stats:
Chivas USA -- Zach Thornton, Mariano Trujillo, Dario Delgado, Michael Umana, Ante Jazic (Jonathan Bornstein 30), Rodolfo Espinoza, Michael Lahoud, Paulo Nagamura, Osael Romero (Giancarlo Maldonado 45), Justin Braun, Alan Gordon (Jesus Padilla 79). Substitutes Not Used:Kevin Guppy, Carlos Borja, Marcelos Saragosa, Ben Zamanski.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 8; OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 4.
Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Sanna Nyassi (Roger Levesque 81), Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis, Alvaro Fernandez (Miguel Montano 67), Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 86), Blaise Nkufo.
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Seamon, Tyrone Marshall, Zach Scott, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS:11; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3.Misconduct Summary:SEA - Jeff Parke (caution; Reckless Foul) 89SEA - Leo Gonzalez (ejection; Violent Conduct) 90CHV - Mariano Trujillo (ejection; Violent Conduct) 90 Referee: Arkadiusz PrusReferee's Assistants: -George Ganser; Brian Poeschel 4th Official: Ricardo SalazarAttendance: 13,839Time of Game: 1:50
It ends 0-0. Leo Gonzales picks up a highly questionable red card in stoppage time and will miss the Chicago Fire's visit to Seattle on Aug. 28.
67th minute: Montano in, Fernandez out.
Second half: Has begun... with Montero still in. (Schmid said during the in-game KONG interview that Fernandez will probably come out around the 60th minute or so.)
Halftime: No score. But no disaster either.
It seemed like there might have been one, as Fredy Montero collided in the penalty area with huge Chivas keeper Zach Thornton. Montero went down, and stayed down, and his body motions in the first seconds indicated possible concussion or worse. However, he popped up after three minutes or so and stayed in the game despite what is being called a thigh contusion.
Thornton -- all 230 pounds of him -- also stayed down for a while, and once he got back on his feet he had to take additional time getting a contact back into place.
Eventually the half played out. For the most part, Sounders seemed to have the better of the play. A couple of especially nice moments from designated players Alvaro Fernandez and Blaise Nkufo.
Kickoff: Here we go...
Around the league: The Sounders didn't get much help around the league today, as Colorado picked up a point, while Los Angeles and Dallas picked up two. (Results at MLSsoccer.com.)
So, Sounders will just have to take care of their own business.
Lineup: Alvaro Fernandez will make his first MLS start.
Here's how the Sounders will open: GK Keller; D Gonzalez, Parke, Ianni, Riley; M Fernandez, Alonso, Sturgis, Nyassi; F Nkufo, Montero.
Pregame: Sounders and Chivas will kick off at 8 p.m. on KONG.
As usual, we'll keep this post open all evening for notes and comments.