Sounders, Revolution battle to scoreless tie
SEATTLE (AP)—A promise from coach Sigi Schmid wasn’t enough to put the Seattle Sounders into the win column.
The Sounders failed to deliver on Schmid’s victory guarantee, tying the New England Revolution 0-0 on Saturday despite dominating most of the play.
In remarks to Seattle-area reporters Friday, Schmid promised that the Sounders (0-3-2), off to the worst start in the five-year history of the franchise, would put their first mark in the MLS win column.
“It was all about me showing support for the players because I believe in the group, and I believe in what we have,” Schmid said after the game. “Apparently, (Revolution coach) Jay Heaps thought I was taking a shot at his team. I’m not worried about his team. I could care less what they’re all about.
“What I’m worried about is my team. It was about showing them I’m behind them. We talked about starting it off today. Well, we sort of started it, with a tie. But we need to start it with a win.”
New England (1-2-2) now has gone without a goal for four-plus games totaling 388 minutes since scoring in the 62nd minute of a season-opening 1-0 victory at Chicago on March 9.
Seattle dominated both halves Saturday, outshooting the Revolution by a 13-5 margin. The Sounders were especially dangerous during the first half when they got off eight shots.
Two of those came within one minute of each other. Steve Zakuani broke toward the top right corner of the New England 6-yard box to get on the end of a well-placed cross by Lamar Neagle, but goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth blocked it over the goal line midway through the 14th minute.
On the ensuing corner kick, the ball wound up at the feet of Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso to the right of the arc, but his shot went barely over the crossbar, skimming across the top of the netting.
Zakuani had another point blank try early in the 44th minute, but Shuttleworth saved it with his foot. He had another try midway through the 55th minute that went barely wide right.
“The one I had in the first half, it hits the goalkeeper’s leg. I can’t control that. Sometimes it hits the leg and goes in,” Zakuani said. “The one I had in the second half with the left foot the ball just bends away. Sometimes, it goes right in the far post and you’re a hero. Other times, you miss, and you have to live with it.
“The biggest disappointment for me is that it’s those small ones that can turn one point into three points.”
The Revs, after generating almost nothing on offense through the first 70 minutes, created three chances in the final 20 minutes. But Andy Dorman’s shot from close range went barely high and wide left in the 74th, Lee Nguyen’s try from outside the penalty area was wide left in the 82nd, and Jerry Bengtson— who has New England’s only goal of the year—was wide right from close range in the first minute of stoppage time.
“The second half was definitely a little better for us,” Heaps said. “Both teams are struggling to get wins, so we knew they were going to come out flying today, and they did. That was part of our job—to manage the first 20 minutes of the game, then try to take the game on. We never really did that until the second half.”
Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was not called upon to make a save in earning his first shutout of the season. Revolution counterpart Shuttleworth made three saves in his first shutout.
“To come in here, you know it’s one of the more difficult places on the road, and we would rather to come out with three points, but we will take one,” Shuttleworth said.