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Sounders find positives in draw with RSL

A road shutout is never a bad result.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

After Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake, the Seattle Sounders were of two minds about the result.

On the one hand, taking a point on the road in a place that could charitably be called a “house of horrors” is hardly a bad result. Still, head coach Brian Schmetzer thought there was much more there for the taking.

The Sounders dominated possession and had the most dangerous of the chances, but weren’t able to convert any to secure their first road win in Sandy since 2012. But the draw was enough to see them to the top of the Western Conference standings in this still early part of the MLS season.

“I thought we had control of large parts of the game,” Schmetzer said. “It was our inability to find the first goal. We had multiple opportunities in the first half. Normally those transition moments we’re very good at [and] make teams pay.”

Schmetzer said he was pleased with several parts of the Sounders performance, particularly defensively as they secured a road shutout, as their defense continues to round into form.

“We’ve got some guys that are pleased with some aspects,” Schmetzer said. “A shutout on the road is a good stat, we won duels … but I think everyone in that locker room feels that we let some points slip by tonight.”

Right back Alex Roldan echoed his coach’s thoughts, especially given the Sounders poor run of road form against RSL.

“We haven’t historically had good results here,” Roldan said “These are results that we didn’t get last year. Sometimes points on the road are crucial. I think we had a good showing today. It’s unfortunate we didn’t come away with three points but we’re going to be happy with stealing a point away from home.”

Though the Sounders weren’t as clinical in front of goal as they have been for most of this season, goalkeeper Stefan Frei noted that scoring on the road is generally a challenge in MLS.

“Away from home especially in a place like this it’s going to be difficult, you’re not going to be cruising to a victory,” Frei said. “On a luckier day, on a sharper day, we walk away with 1-0, 2-0. [But] there’s tons of positives to be taken away on the other side. We limited their chances and they have some firepower.

“I look at this as positive result, we win the series four out of six points so this is something to build on.”

The number of fouls and cards made for a disjointed match to say the least, and the Sounders had to deal with some challenges from the substitutions that RSL brought in late, but they were please they able to grind out the result.

“It’s difficult when they’re bringing players on the Kreilach and some fast wingers,” Roldan said. “I thought our response was just as good. The response from the backline and the players up above, we did well. We didn’t really allow a clear opportunity on goal, so we’re happy with the play there.”

Defensively, the Sounders have now secured two consecutive shutouts after the 4-1 defeat at Portland. Roldan said the defense continues to improve even with the changes in the midfield and left back due to injuries.

“The chances and opportunities they had were counterattacks [and] shooting outside the box,” Roldan said. “Stef came up big on one that they had in the first half. Overall I thought we were solid. We’re really making the emphasis to keep clean sheets and this is another one we had on the road.”

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