Sounders Grind Out 0-0 Draw, Move To 2-1-1

It wasn't the prettiest game in MLS history and the Sounders certainly had their chances to take the win, but in the end Seattle will likely be content with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against a scrappy D.C. United team. Though things seldom fully clicked in the attack, the Sounders turned in yet another strong defensive performance and have not allowed a goal from open play since the 62nd minute of the season's first game against Toronto FC. Eddie Johnson made his first appearance as a Sounder in MLS play, coming on for David Estrada in the 66th minute, and the Sounders only other sub Marc Burch came inches away from snatching a last-minute winner after his diving header found the woodwork just seconds after he entered the game.

A choppy game throughout, each side did have some moments of inspired attacking play; Michael Gspurning was put under tremendous pressure late on and continued to show that he will take command of his box when necessary, punching away several threatening United corners and making two excellent saves to preserve the clean sheet. Seattle also got some luck in the 74th minute when Chris Pontius found himself with space in the box and beat Gspurning at the far post, only to see his shot go inches wide. Once again forced to play without Mauro Rosales and Adam Johansson, the Sounders adopted a lopsided attacking style, as Roger Levesque and Zach Scott offered little in the offensive end. To their credit, however, D.C. United found it very difficult to operate down their left-hand side until the introduction of Pontius late in the game.

The Sounders had their share of close calls as well, the aforementioned Burch header the closest, but the home side clearly frustrated Seattle's attempts to get their attack flowing. Alvaro Fernandez and Fredy Montero received the bulk of United's attention, and the strategy turned out to be effective. Fernandez had what was likely his poorest game of the season while Montero found space in which to operate difficult to come by thanks to D.C.'s successful attempts to keep the game narrow. Seattle is clearly missing Rosales and Johannson, but Sigi Schmid was likely hoping for more from Eddie Johnson after withdrawing Estrada.

Though not without some level of frustration, a point on the east coast against a much improved D.C. United team is certainly acceptable. Though the Sounders currently sit in 5th place in the Western Conference, they still hold a game in hand over all but the last-placed LA Galaxy and have played all four games missing several key players. Despite the relative weakness of the Eastern Conference, these are always difficult games; with little to be concerned about in Seattle's performance, this is the kind of game you chalk up as acceptable forget about almost immediately.

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