Sounders FC

Scoreless Sounders earn tie in California

CARSON, CALIF. – Sounders FC didn't pick up the points it wanted in its 0-0 draw against Chivas USA on Saturday night before a crowd of 13,839 at Home Depot Center.

But the Sounders didn’t lose their leading offensive player, either, so they had to take consolation in that.

Leading goal-scorer and assist-provider Fredy Montero went down and stayed down late in the first half after a violent collision with 230-pound Chivas goalkeeper Zach Thornton.

After several scary minutes, Montero rose and was ready to return to the game even before Thornton, who not only was shaken up but needed additional minutes to tend to a contact lens.

Both players eventually returned to action.

Despite the lack of goals, there was plenty of action – right down to stoppage time when Seattle defender Leo Gonzalez and Chivas defender Mariano Trujillo both received red cards after some jostling from Gonzalez drew a looping elbow from Trujillo.

The incident occurred so late that it had little immediate impact. However, it means that both players must miss their next league game. In Gonzalez’s case, Seattle’s Aug. 28 home match against Chicago.

Both teams also had goal-scoring opportunities. Sounders designated player Blaise Nkufo came the closest in the first half, losing defender Jonathan Bornstein in the penalty area and then having his shot deflected into the side netting. Later, Sanna Nyassi headed a Nkufo pass into the right post.

In the 89th minute, Osvaldo Alonso unleashed a sizzling shot from outside the box. It seemed destined to become the MLS goal of the week until Thornton slapped it aside it what might end up being the MLS save of the week.

In the end, the twin zeros added up in several notable ways. The result:

marked Seattle’s first scoreless draw of the season;

extended the Sounders’ scoreless run against Chivas to 360 minutes – they have never scored in their four games against the Goats;

extended Seattle’s shutout in MLS play to three games;

marked Kasey Keller’s eighth shutout of the season;

and ended Seattle’s MLS winning streak at four games, but extended its non-losing streak to six. The Sounders now stand at 8-8-5 and are alone in fourth place in the Western Conference.