It seemed like a match that neither team could win; and in the end, neither team did.
There were the Seattle Sounders on the road without Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Chad Marshall, Osvaldo Alonso and Marco Pappa. Yet there was FC Dallas, starting without stars Blas Perez, Moises Hernandez and Mauro Diaz — and then playing the final 72 minutes one man down.
In the end, the two weakened teams produced a scoreless draw at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. It was the first match in Sounders history that neither team managed a shot on target.
“Obviously I’m pleased that we played to zero in the back,” coach Sigi Schmid said “… I thought we had three really good chances in the second half. We need to score one of those three.”
Sounders fans had known that the club would be without Pappa due to duty with the Guatemala national team, and Dempsey due to injury. But there was hope that Marshall and Alonso would return from injury. However, the Sounders had given no public indication that Martins had suffered an upper quadriceps injury Tuesday in the friendly against Club Tijuana. The club says he is expected to be ready next weekend when the Sounders (1-1-1) meet Houston at CenturyLink Field.
At Dallas, the only injury news that broke the Sounders’ way was Tyrone Mears’ return at right back after a hamstring injury. However, that still left five of the 10 outfield starters to replace, and before the evening was out Victor Mansaray and Oniel Fisher would make their MLS debuts, Cristian Roldan would get his first MLS start, Aaron Kovar, Chad Barrett and Andy Rose would get their first starts of the season, and Zach Scott would make his first appearance of the season.
“It energized the team, I think,” Roldan said. “These guys want to come in and prove themselves. … We played well as a group, but obviously the result could have been better.”
Dempsey and Martins were the only Sounders to score over the first two games of the season, and that remains true after the third. Seattle’s best chances came on Barrett shots sent wide in the 54th and 72nd minutes, and a Rose attempt from in front of goal tipped wide by a Dallas defender in the 80th.
“(Barrett will) be the first one to say that he’s got to finish one of those,” Schmid said. “… Barrett knows as a forward that you live and die by the chances you finish.”
Dallas (3-0-1) was weakened by the loss of Perez and Hernandez to international duty and Diaz a late scratch due to a leg injury. Then their degree of difficulty rose considerably in the 18th minute when Kellyn Acosta was sent off after a high kick into Rose’s midsection.
Their best chance came in the 29th minute when Michel sent a free kick off of the crossbar.