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MLS Cup playoffs 2012, Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake recap: Sounders play to 0-0 draw

The Seattle Sounders opened the 2012 MLS Cup playoffs Friday, playing to a 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake.

Kevin Casey

The Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake played to a 0-0 draw on Friday night in the first leg of their two-leg MLS Cup playoff series.

Seattle was forced to play without one of its top offensive weapons as Eddie Johnson missed the game due to an adductor strain. Despite Johnson's absence, Seattle had plenty of chances to break through in the match. The Sounders finished the match with 11 attempts on goal, including five shots on target, but Real Salt Lake goaltender Nick Rimando was excellent all night. Rimando made several outstanding saves, including two on back-to-back corner kicks during the first half.

Struggling to score against Real Salt Lake was nothing new for the Sounders this season. The Sounders failed to score a goal during their three regular season matches against Salt Lake. Seattle lost one match, 1-0, while playing to a 0-0 draw in the two others. Jeff Parke and Brad Evans each picked up a yellow card during the second half for Seattle.

While the draw was less than an ideal result, it by no means ends Seattle's chances to advance in the MLS Cup playoffs. The two-leg series will be decided by aggregate score, so the winner of the second leg in Salt Lake will win the series. The two teams will meet for the deciding game on Thursday.