Sounders FC and Sporting Kansas City played to a 1-1 draw tonight at CenturyLink Field.
The result extended Seattle’s winless streak to six games, going 0-3-3 over the stretch.
However, major news was made even before the first kick.
The gameday roster included midfielder Steve Zakuani for the first time since he suffered a fractured tibia and fibula April 22, 2010.
And goalkeeper Andrew Weber got his first start coming to the Sounders over the off-season and his first MLS start anywhere since 2009.
He got off to a rough start, as Kansas City got one past him in the eighth minute: a strike by Jacob Peterson that deflected off Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso on its path into the side netting.
Seattle drew even in the 15th minute, as Patrick Ianni sent a leaping volley past Jimmy Nielsen from 10 yards.
The second half played out scorelessly despite significant chances.
Weber layed out to save a Chance Myers header in the 71st minute. And for Seattle, Alex Caskey broke free but sent a one-on-one shot wide right. Fredy Montero his a post in the 89th minute.
The game got rough in those final minutes, with Alvaro Fernandez picking up a late red card.
Zakunai remained on the bench the whole way. However, after playing in some training scrimmages and in one MLS Reserve League match, this was his first appearance in a first-team uniform since his injury and another significant milestone in his comeback.
The game was played before a season-high crowd of 46,931. Extra sections of the west side upper deck was opened to accommodate an extra 8,000 tickets purchased by Safeco Insurance and given to employees and Washington Youth Soccer.
The Sounders return to action Sunday afternoon at Portland.80th minute:
71st minute: Very nice lay-out save by Weber. Andy Rose checks in for Brad Evans.
Attendance: 46,932. (Safeco Insurance bought 8,000 tickets: 6,500 for employees and 1,500 donated to Washington Youth Soccer.)
Second half: ... has begun.
Halftime: Very entertaining first half is done. Sounders 1, SKC 1.
Shots, 7-6 SKC; on goal, 2-2; corners 5-1 SKC; fouls 9-4 SCK; duels won 53% Seattle; possession 50.8 SKC.
15th minute: GOAL Seattle. Could be a goal-of-the-week winner from Patrick Ianni. Sort of a flying volley of a free kick from Mauro Rosales. Even at 1. Video here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2012-06-20-sea-v-kc/highlights
Eighth minute: GOAL Kansas City. Jacob Peterson scores, apparently deflected along the way by Osvaldo Alonso. Assist to Aurelien Collin.
Kickoff: The game has begun.Andrew Weber in goal. Steve Zakuani in uniform. 46,000 or so expected. Five-game winless streak lingering. Should be interesting.
Lineups: For Seattle: GK Weber; D Scott, Ianni, Parke, Burch; M Rosales, Alonso, Evans, Caskey; F Montero, Johnson. Reserves: Meredith, Carrasco, Cato, Fernandez, Ochoa, Rose, Zakuani.
For SKC: GK Neilsen; D Callin, Myers, Olum, Harrington; M Peterson, Espinoza, Joseph, Thomas, Saad; F Bunbury. Reserves: Kronberg, Kamara, Cesar, Sapong, Sinovic, Warzycha, Zusi.
Roster: Steve Zakuani is on the Sounders FC’s 18-man roster – the first time since suffering his leg injuries April 22, 2011, in Colorado.
Also, Andrew Weber is getting his first start in goal.
Pregame: The sun is shining down on CenturyLink Field on what looks like a near-perfect night for soccer.
And important soccer, at that, as the Sounders try to end a five-game winless streak against one of the top teams in the league.
The basics: 7 p.m. kickoff, KONG, the usual radio outlets, and we'll keep this blog post open all night with pregame, in-game, and postgame news and updates, along with Twitter posts.
The big pregame news will come with the arrival of the lineups and 18-man roster: Who will start in goal? Will Steve Zakuani be in uniform? What other changes might be made in the wake of the 4-1 loss at Montreal over the weekend?
I'll be back as the answers start coming in.