SEATTLE (ABC 4 Sports) - Real Salt Lake was unable to take advantage of playing the final 60 minutes with an extra player and could only manage a 0-0 draw with the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday night in a potential MLS Cup playoff preview.
Seattle played the final hour of the match down a man after defender Zach Scott was issued a second yellow card and sent off in the 30th minute. Scott was issued his second card for a reckless tackle on Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales.
“A result is a result," said head coach Jason Kreis. "One point was our baseline objective coming into the night, we felt if we could get one point, we could control our own destiny in the last week of the season, and make sure we don’t have to play that wild card game."
RSL could have clinched a bye to the second round of the playoffs, avoiding a winner-take-all wild card game, but now they will have to wait until the final MLS match of the regular season October 27th at home against Vancouver. If Real earns at least a draw against the Whitecaps, they will avoid the wild card game.
There were very few scoring chances in the match, but Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning saved the draw for the Sounders in the final moments. He first punched Chris Schuler's shot wide of the goal, then off a scramble in the box kept Sebastian Velasquez's deflected shot out of the net.
“We tried to score for 65 minutes," said midfielder Javier Morales. "It was tough, because I believe that Seattle, they [were] down a man and they sit back and just wait. We tried to find a space to score a goal, but we couldn’t.”
RSL was without leading scorer Alvaro Saborio and starting midfielder Will Johnson, who were both called away for international team duties.
"I’m a bit of a perfectionist, look at it and say being up a man for sixty some odd minutes, we probably should score a goal," said Kreis. "Credit to Seattle, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to break a team down that is that committed to making sure that they get the point that they so desperately needed.”