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Seattle Sounders at Chicago Fire Recap - Nil-Nil Draw Merely Average

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BRIDGEVIEW, IL - JUNE 4: Osvaldo Alonso #6 of the Seattle Sounders FC and Daniel Paladini of the Chicago Fire battle for the ball in an MLS match on June 4, 2011 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
BRIDGEVIEW, IL - JUNE 4: Osvaldo Alonso #6 of the Seattle Sounders FC and Daniel Paladini of the Chicago Fire battle for the ball in an MLS match on June 4, 2011 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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The sum total of special moments is similar to the sum total of quality referees in all of soccer. Small, and not nearly enough for either side. The Chicago Fire were expected to come out emotionally excited for at the beginning of the match, and if that was them excited their poor fans will be disappointed. Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders FC were their most effective early with a few balls that were too heavy and a few shots directly at the keeper.

Neither Sean Johnson nor Kasey Keller made highlight reel saves in this match, though both were tested a few times. Instead this was a match that flowed quite well and rarely but that one moment on the end of a build-up. Seattle's best example came in a passing series late in the second half that touched almost every player and about half with clever passes to keep it going, but ended with an attempted Fredy Montero chip when the keeper was not off their line.

Dominic Oduro created some opportunities against Tyson Wahl but the Fire midfielder did not have the runners, or the runners didn't have effect at his best moments. This was a match where a team right about average in MLS went on the road facing a poor team and got a draw. No one earned the result. Neither coach was made mistakes, as much as the players didn't make the plays. In middle of the season this one ponit seems a disappointment, but it is fair. To quote Keller said in his TV post-game on KONG, "It could have been two-two or nil-nil." And that's what it was. On a first watching there is little to take away from either hope or critique.

Schmid tried a few different things, but to little effect. Mike Fucito was used as a right wing for about a dozen minutes, but the play at that point didn't head his way. Lamar Neagle had shots on goal, but both were saved. Montero was not the spark off the bench, and the passing without Erik Friberg (did not travel) was still too long even on the slower grass of Chicago.

Zero-Zero is fair, but disappointing none-the-less for the Sounders faithful as the target this season is so much more than middle of the road. All three trophies are still within grasp, but not a one seems imminent.