Real Salt Lake earned a gritty 0-0 draw Wednesday night at the Seattle Sounders.
The match, which saw an early ejection for Seattle, will be heralded by both sides as a success.
Jason Kreis set the goal for this match as a result, which could include a draw; however, he may be disappointed that his side couldn’t capitalize on an hour with a man advantage.
Seattle spent most of the early minutes on attack, though the home side was unable to put this advantage on the scoreboard.
Real Salt Lake got help on defense early in the 7th minute when Luis Gil tracked back and headed out a cross that Freddy Montero could easily have scored with.
Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert were particularly effective in creating chances during this time. Both found themselves, as well as teammates, in dangerous positions to give Salt Lake fits through the early going.
On the other side, Fabian Espindola and Javier Morales terrorized the Seattle back line and kept the attack up.
The match changed substantially in the 30th minute when Zach Scott received his second yellow of the match for a hard hit on Morales.
Still, Seattle had a great chance in the 38th minute when Freddy Montero got well behind the Salt Lake back line with the ball. As he charged into the box, Nat Borchers caught and dispossessed him cleanly.
Seattle’s crowd pled for a penalty kick at the end of the half, but it hit Beltran’s arm up against his body. Even the Kasey Keller, whose comments were criticized by Salt Lake fans throughout the evening, sided with Salt Lake on that call.
Sigi Schmid criticized the officiating at halftime, almost certainly earning himself a fine, and he called out Ricardo Salazar by name. It seemed like he was firing a warning shot at the league to not allow Salazar to referee his team in the playoffs.
Morales nearly scored at the start of the second half when a deflection fell to him 25 yards away from the box. The Argentine one-timed it on frame and forced the Seattle keeper to make a great save in the 48th minute.
Still, Seattle controlled much of the second half, creating numerous headaches for Borchers, and the newly inserted Schuler, to take care of. Schuler would receive a yellow card in the 51st minute for pulling down Rosales to prevent one of the best chances.
Salt Lake repeatedly struggled to get numbers forward and repeatedly lost possession on bad passes in the attacking half. Jonny Steele took the brunt of criticism on Twitter and probably deserved it in this regard; however, the whole offense struggled to get in rhythm.
Kyle Beckerman took a shot from distance in the 75th minute to give Salt Lake another chance, but it just barely missed over the bar.
Tony Beltran had a chance in the 79th minute when a give-and-go pass with David Viana found him in the box. His first touch was a little hard and it dribbled the Seattle keeper harmlessly.
Chris Schuler took another crack in the 92nd minute when he took a pass from Steele at the top of the box, turned and fired on goal.
Seattle held on during a late Salt Lake rally to keep the match scoreless when the final whistle blew.
Category: Game Review