SANDY, Utah (MLS) - Real Salt Lake's struggles at home continued Wednesday night as one team — the visiting Seattle Sounders — got exactly what it wanted and the other side came away utterly disappointed.
The fact the Sounders got a point from their 0-0 draw with RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium should absolutely thrill the visitors from the Northwest. And the fact the Claret and Clobalt couldn't come away with the full three points leaves them with a sour taste in their mouths.
Perhaps it was the fact the Sounders were missing midfielder Osvaldo Alonso because of yellow card accumulation suspension, or maybe it was the return of RSL captain Kyle Beckerman from his own suspension, but the battle in the middle of the field was decidedly one-sided.
It began in the first half, as Real neatly knocked the ball around for long, long stretches. Momentum was always in favor of the home side, and RSL had all the stats to back up their domination: They controlled possession (64.8 percent to 34.2 percent), creativity (244 passes completed to 117), and scoring opportunities (seven shots to three).
But the only stat that really matters showed the two teams were dead even, scoreless 0-0 at the break.
The second half continued much the same way. It appeared Salt Lake had taken the lead in the 52nd minute as striker Álvaro Saborío hit the back of the net following a ball to the middle, but a narrow decision went against them with the side official ruling the Costa Rican international was offsides.
As the half wore on, the RSL attack continued. Time and time again RSL would knock it around, stringing together five, 10 and sometimes 20 passes before something would either break down or RSL would miss a shot.
But with time dwindling down, it felt like it was just a matter of time before either Real scored on one of its numerous half-chances or Seattle would find the net on a counterattack as the home side pushed for the go-ahead goal.
That scenario almost happened in the 87th minute as Seattle substitute Cordell Cato was agonizingly close to betting his foot on a ball into an empty net on a cross from Mauro Rosales. That, however, was the last of the great scoring chances for the two teams until the final whistle.
While Salt Lake halted their three-game losing streak with a draw, the result against Seattle extended their winless streak to four. They'll next try to gather a full three points when they host the Portland Timbers on Saturday, July 7 at 7:00 p.m.