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Sounders vs. Sporting KC, 2015 recap: Scoreless tie won't sit well with Seattle

Despite KC starting without several of their top players, Sounders unable to find a goal.

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

There was no stoppage-time magic this time. And in this series, that's saying something. The Seattle Sounders bossed possession and applied tons of pressure, but a short-handed and tired Sporting Kansas City were able to weather the storm and will probably be thrilled with Saturday's scoreless tie.

For a 0-0 game, there was plenty of excitement, although few clear chances. The match was physical and at times it seemed as though Jair Marrufo was committed to not changing it too much with his whistle, letting just about everything go in and around the penalty area.

Both teams managed to generate several good chances, with the Sounders' best coming off the foot and head of Lamar Neagle and another from Chad Barrett. The cleanest look anyone got was a Neagle breakaway almost right after the start of the second half. Neagle was able to get behind the defense, but struggled to settle the bouncing ball with his head. He was able to get a shot off, but his left-footed effort was well wide. Barrett had a decent chance to add another chapter to the Sounders' late-match winners against KC -- six times they've scored the winner in stoppage time -- but he wasn't able to put much on his spinning attempt following a Brad Evans bicycle kick.

KC mostly sat in and waited for chances, ceding 65 percent of possession to the Sounders while starting the match without Graham Zusi and having Dom Dwyer be a last-minute scratch. They managed to create some danger on counter-strikes, but one of their only quality looks came on a long-range attempt from Benny Feilhaber that forced Stefan Frei into a bounding save.

Disappointing result or not, it's the Sounders' sixth shutout in their 11th game and the point moved them into a tie for second-place in the Western Conference. They've got two games remaining on their three-game home stand.

Other observations

  • Sporting KC never really looked like themselves. Maybe it was the midweek game, maybe it was the rash of injuries, maybe it was missing Zusi and Dwyer to start. But after a nice burst in the first 15 minutes or so, they basically sat back and dared the Sounders to make a mistake. To their credit, it worked reasonably well. Sporting KC got their share of good looks and for all the pressure the Sounders applied, good looks were hard to come by. The Sounders tried different approaches -- going over the top, sending in crosses, pounding it through the middle -- but KC always had the answer, or at least numbers behind the ball.
  • It was a somewhat sloppy match, but the Sounders still attempted a season-high 687 passes and completed more than 80 percent of them. Yes, a lot of them were in their defensive half where KC seemed more than happy to let the Sounders pass it around. Still, that's a ton of passes and the Sounders definitely did their part to press the action. It just didn't come off.
  • A tie against Sporting KC is not an awful result, but the Sounders surely know this game was there for the taking. Similar to the scoreless tie in Dallas, the Sounders are the team that probably feels like they left points on the table. Remember this one if they are coming down to the wire.
  • Clint Dempsey wasn't a big factor and his consecutive-points streak comes to an end at 10. He definitely looked like he missed his strike partner, Obafemi Martins.

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