FRISCO, Texas — In the battle between two of the top teams in the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas played to a scoreless rain-delayed draw at Pizza Hut Park Sunday evening.
Referee David Gantar postponed the game in the 83rd minute, the exact same time FCD’s match against the LA Galaxy was postponed three weeks ago. The delay lasted an hour and 52 minutes before restarting play.
But unlike the previous rain delay, FC Dallas (5-3-3) couldn’t get a late goal to earn the win, and Real Salt Lake (5-1-2) settled for their second scoreless draw in as many weeks.
Real Salt Lake came into the match having never gotten a point at Pizza Hut Park in eight attempts, while FC Dallas entered the Western Conference showdown unbeaten in their last five matches.
The match lacked offensive creativity at times for both teams while missing their marquee player. Real Salt Lake was playing their third game without Argentine Javier Morales and were held off the scoreboard for the second game without their attacking midfielder pulling the strings.
FCD, although unbeaten since losing David Ferreira to an ankle injury, struggled in the offensive final third miscommunicating on several passes and through balls.
With the scoreless draw, FC Dallas’ shutout streak reached 399 minutes, the second longest of the season behind the Columbus Crew who held opponents scoreless for 414 minutes earlier this season.
However, Real Salt Lake, sporting their victory gold uniforms for the first time since the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final against Mexican side Monterrey last month, thought they got on the scoreboard first in the 21st minute.
Canadian midfielder Will Johnson played a cross into the FCD box, where a waiting Álvaro Saborío headed it past Kevin Hartman, but the sideline referee quickly raised his flag signaling offside.
FC Dallas countered with their best opportunity of the game just four minutes later.
After Honduran forward Marvin Chávez strung together a series of step over moves against RSL defender Chris Wingert, the 27-year-old attacker sent a cross in that was left at the top of the 18-yard box. George John poked the ball forward towards goal and forced RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando to make a diving fingertip save.
The two teams last played in the Western Conference semifinals in 2010 with FC Dallas advancing 3-2 on goals scored and tensions were high throughout the evening.
RSL defender Jámison Olave had choice words for Colombian compatriot Fabián Castillo in the first half, and after a corner kick midway through the second half, Olave and several players including Daniel Hernandez went head to head in disagreement.
FC Dallas have little time to sit on Sunday’s draw before they fly to Seattle Monday morning for a date on Wednesday against the Sounders at Qwest Field.
Real Salt Lake will play Seattle on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL -- Chris Wingert (caution; Reckless Tackle) 44
DAL -- Andrew Jacobson (caution; Persistent Infringement) 53
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Tackle) 58
RSL -- Ned Grabavoy (caution; Reckless Foul) 61
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams (Collen Warner 72), Will Johnson, Arturo Alvarez (Jean Alexandre 81), Alvaro Saborio.
Substitutes Not Used: Fabian Espindola, Nelson Gonzalez, Robbie Russell, Chris Schuler, Kyle Reynish.
FC Dallas -- Kevin Hartman, Jackson Goncalves (Bobby Warshaw 83), Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd, Eric Alexander (Eric Avila 77), Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 72), Marvin Chavez.
Substitutes Not Used: Bruno Guarda, Moises Hernandez, Ricardo Villar, Chris Seitz.
Referee: David Gantar
Referee's Assistants: Claudio Badea; Eric Boria
4th Official: Matthew Foerster
Time of Game: 3:43
Weather: Cloudy and 90 degrees