SEATTLE — Sigi Schmid promised his Seattle Sounders would pick up their first win of the season, but thanks to a stout New England Revolution defense, they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at CenturyLink Field on Saturday that kept the Sounders as the lone winless team in MLS.
It wasn't for a lack of chances. Especially in the first half, the Sounders had numerous good looks at goal. But a combination of timely defending and poor finishing conspired to keep them scoreless.
The Revolution (1-2-2), extended their goal-less drought to 388 minutes, but they've still allowed just two goals this season, the fewest of any team. They did not force Michael Gspurning to make a single save, as the Sounders goalkeeper recorded his first shutout of the season.
Featuring their ninth starting lineup in as many competitive matches and a forward tandem of Steve Zakuani and Lamar Neagle for the first time in MLS play, the Sounders dominated the early proceedings and nearly scored on at least a couple occasions.
Neagle and Zakuani found themselves involved in most of those chances. Two of those chances came on back-to-back plays. Neagle got it started when he won a ball on the left side and raced ahead of the defense in the 14th minute. The play was reminiscent to the last time the Sounders scored at home, when Zakuani fed Eddie Johnson for a goal against the Portland Timbers.
Only this time, it was Zakuani on the end of the cross. He was not able to do much with it either, as his right-footed attempt on the open goal was blocked by Revolution defender José Gonçalves.
On the ensuing corner, Osvaldo Alonso picked up a deflected ball at the top of the penalty area and laced a volley that Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth got just enough of to knock it over the crossbar.
Zakuani found himself with another golden opportunity in the 44th minute, as he got ahead of the Revolution defense. The speedy winger had an open lane to the goal, cut it back to lose one defender, got Shuttleworth to commit the wrong but the goalkeeper was still was able to make the stop with his trailing foot.
Zakuani got behind the defense again in the 55th minute. This time, he picked up the ball near the center of midfield and dribbled his way to the top of the penalty area. From there he fired a shot that went just wide.
New England return to action on April 20 at New York, while Seattle face Colorado on the road the same day.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||José Gonçalves||The gritty Portuguese defender withstood a barrage of pressure and deflected all the Sounders threw at him.|
|2||Steve Zakuani||A consistent threat for the Sounders for the 75 minutes he was on the pitch. Missed a couple of quality scoring opportunities|
|3||Lamar Neagle||The Sounders' other striker tested the Revolution backline numerous times with his speed, and set up Zakuani for a few point-blank chances.|