The Seattle Sounders came into Wednesday night's home match with the Houston Dynamo knowing they'd clinch a 2016 Audi MLS Playoffs spot with a victory, but a lack of finishing touch saw the match end 0-0.
Consequences for the Sounders went beyond the missed opportunity, as they lost Osvaldo Alonso to a red card suspension when he put hands to the face of Will Bruin in a disagreement. The Sounders also lost Andreas Ivanschitz early to a right knee sprain as announced by the team. Both absences will affect the push to the playoffs for the Sounders.
Even after the red card, the story for much of the night was extended Sounders pressure and dangerous counters from a Dynamo team that rested several starters as they cope with three games in eight days. Best chance of the night may have been taken by Bruin from distance, an attempt that took a fully outstretched fingertip save from Stefan Frei to stay out.
- WE'RE DOING BETTER ON THE ROAD: The Dynamo have been a team in transition for much of this season, but picking up the draw against the Sounders meant that they've done something that this team hasn't managed to do since 2013: go unbeaten in four or more straight road matches (2W, 2D), according to Opta.
- FREI ME UP: Frei isn't going to challenge for the saves lead this year, but he's quietly made his case for being one of the best goalkeepers in the league. Not only does he consistently show the range that makes him a Save of the Week darling, but he keeps a goals-against average that puts him in the conversation with Brian Rowe and David Bingham.
- WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?: Alonso had managed to surprise Sounders fans with two goals in three games coming into this match, but now his production and the incisive play of Ivanschitz will have to be replaced for a tough road match against FC Dallas. Who steps up for the Sounders?
They Said It
- SEA: Sunday at FC Dallas (5:00 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
- HOU: Sunday vs. LA Galaxy (5:00 pm ET, MLS LIVE)