A wasteful Seattle team was denied a penalty by referee Kevin Stott in the closing minutes of the gameA routine 0-0 draw between the Seattle Sounders FC and Chivas USA was beset by refereeing controversy, but Seattle will rue its missed chances, including an Alvaro Fernandez penalty kick.
Seattle took the initiative early on and looked to have a golden chance to take the lead in 18th minute when Chivas USA defender Michael Umana was whistled for handball after a nice bit of skill from Fernandez. The Uruguayan midfielder stepped up to take the penalty himself, but smashed it against the woodwork. It rebounded onto the back of Dan Kennedy's head, but luckily for the Chivas USA netminder, it went out for a corner instead of back into the goal.
The Sounders continued to control play, but found it difficult to break down a well-organized Chivas side, which managed to put together a number of nice passing moves. Kasey Keller had to be alert off his line after a sharp through ball nearly sprung Alejandro Moreno, but Keller was able to clear.
Seattle had two golden chances in the second half, but Pat Noonan could not get ahold of a shot with an open goal in front of and Kennedy was able to scramble back to make the save. Umana redeemed himself for conceding the penalty in the 70th minute, making a perfectly timed sliding tackle to block a shot for what would have been a sure goal by Freddy Montero.
The biggest talking point came in the 89th minute, though, as Lamar Neagle burst into the penalty area only to be hauled down by new Chivas USA signing David Lopes, but referee Kevin Stott signaled for a goal kick. Replays clearly showed plenty of contact between Lopes and Neagle, prompting an incensed reaction from Erik Friberg, who was shown a yellow card for his trouble. Still, neither side was able to eke out a goal, which was no help as the teams quest for accolades starts coming down to the wire.