The Sounders’ took the pitch depleted by injuries and players missing due to commitments with their international teams. Then, in the 30th minute, defender Zach Scott picked up his second yellow card and was banished, leaving Seattle to play the final 60 minutes one man down.
Whatever satisfaction the club might have normally felt from earning a point despite their dire predicament was mitigated by the arithmetic of the Major League Soccer standings as the regular season ticks down.
The draw leaves Seattle (14-7-11) three points behind second-place RSL (17-11-5) in the Western Conference. Salt Lake has one game remaining, while Seattle has two. It was the Sounders’ third straight shutout, running their streak to 330 minutes without allowing a goal.
Goals were especially rare in the Seattle-RSL three-game series, which concluded with two scoreless draws and a 1-0 victory by Salt Lake.
Among the missing for Seattle on Wednesday was leading goal-scorer Eddie Johnson, who played 89 minutes with the U.S. national team the day before. Sammy Ochoa started in his place.
Midfielder Steve Zakuani was in street clothes, due to a previously undisclosed abdominal muscle strain. And Mario Martinez was out due to international duty.
More chaos was along the back line, where four regulars were out: Adam Johansson due to duty with the Sweden national team, and Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado due to injury. Brad Evans, Jeff Parke, Scott, and Marc Burch compensated for those losses.
The Sounders return to MLS play at 6 p.m. Sunday, when FC Dallas visits. Scott will miss that one also due to red-card suspension.Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 email@example.com