FRISCO, Tex. – There may have been an early exit, but defense reigned as two of the West's best teams squared off on Saturday night.
The visitors played over 70 minutes with a man advantage after Dallas defender Kellyn Acosta received a red card, but in the end the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas played to a 0-0 draw at Toyota Stadium.
Heading into the game, both sides knew they would be opening up an opportunity for some of the depth players on their squads, due to a combination of injuries and international call-ups. Seattle lacked Clint Dempsey (injury), Marco Pappa (international duty), and Obafemi Martins (injury), while Dallas played without Blas Perez, Moises Hernandez (both international duty), and late scratch Mauro Diaz, who was nursing a leg injury throughout the week. This led to a cautiously-played opening frame by both squads, with the Sounders not even registering a single shot attempt in the first half.
Seattle made their first true charge of the match in the 17th minute, when defender Tyrone Mears received a pass from Cristian Roldan and attempted to cross the ball in front of Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz. However, defender Zach Loyd alertly dove in the path of the ball to head it out of play.
Immediately after Loyd’s effort, Acosta, who made his first start of the season in place of Hernandez, was issued a red card for putting a foot into the stomach of Seattle midfielder Andy Rose on the previous Seattle charge, leaving the hosts down a man for the rest of the game.
While the Sounders controlled possession for the remainder of the half, the Dallas backline prevented any serious threats. The home team, however, was able to generate a couple of attempts despite being a man down, including one in 28th minute following a foul outside the Seattle box. Michel took the free kick, but shot the ball just off the crossbar and past the outstretched hands of Sounders’ goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Seattle amped up their attack in the second half. In the 54th minute, forward Chad Barrett had the cleanest look of the game to that point after receiving a chipped pass from outside the box, but he sent a header wide left of the net.
Barrett had another clean opportunity to break the deadlock in the 72nd minute when he had a one-on-one chance against Seitz with Loyd trailing behind. But like his earlier opportunity, he misfired and sent a shot wide left of an open net after Seitz came out to meet him on the right side of the box.
Rose was next in line for Seattle to miss a clean scoring opportunity. He received a well-placed pass in the 80th minute from forward Victor Mansaray near the net, but Rose could not take advantage and slot the ball inside the post.
With the result, Dallas (3-0-1) still sits atop the Western Conference standings, while Seattle (1-1-1) are in seventh place. Both teams head to the American northwest next Saturday, with Seattle hosting the Houston Dynamo and Dallas visiting the Portland Timbers.