Marc Burch didn’t quite get the homecoming he wanted, but he sure came close.
The former D.C. United defender only played about two minutes for the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, but he was in the game long enough to nearly steal three points for his new team as his stoppage-time header went off the crossbar.
WATCH: Burch header hits the crossbar
Instead, the Sounders were forced to settle for a 0-0 tie against a United team that is still looking to win consecutive matches for the first time since 2009.
“I just overran it a little bit,” Burch said. “I knew [midfielder Osvaldo Alonso] was going to strike it well, and I just took off. If I had just hesitated for a second, I could have brought it down. It just popped up on me.”
Burch spent the previous five seasons with D.C., but left the team after failing to come to terms with club on a new deal. United fans booed him upon his entry into the game and chanted “United reject” while he was running down the left sideline in front of the supporters’ section.
He nearly got the last laugh, though. In the third minute of stoppage time, Alonso was left all alone about 20 yards out. The midfielder rifled a shot that United goalkeeper Joe Willis was forced to punch away. The ball came out to Burch, who was all alone, for a quick header.
That post-bound attempt was the closest the Sounders came to scoring, but they didn’t necessarily lack for chances.
The two best were short-circuited by poor crosses. The first came in the 52nd minute when Álvaro Fernández was an accurate pass away from setting up David Estrada for a tap-in goal. But his pass lacked any kind of pace and was easily turned away from the defense. In the 85th minute, Roger Levesque found himself all alone about 10 yards out, but he elected to send in a cross rather than take an attempt on goal.
WATCH: Full match highlights
This was the second straight game in which the Sounders have failed to score and they have now gone three games without scoring from the run of play. Not so coincidentally, Mauro Rosales has missed all three matches since suffering a knee sprain in the Sounders’ season opener.
“The goals will come,” defender Jeff Parke said. “Keep zeroes in the back, that will do. As long as you keep a blank sheet in the back, anything can happen.”
The good news is that the Sounders defense was up to the task. United were limited to just eight shots a week after they took 17 and scored four goals against FC Dallas. Seattle have now allowed just two goals through four matches and have not allowed a goal from the run of play in their last three matches.
“I thought the battle that battle that we showed was good,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “We talked about that, about being the team that was hungrier. I thought last week, San Jose out-competed us a little bit. I thought we did that tonight.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.