With both teams missing players from the international break, Salt Lake and Seattle drew 0-0 in a match defined by Zach Scott's dismissal.
Coming one day after the United States game against Guatemala, RSL chartered a plane which flew U.S. internationals Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and, sportingly, Eddie Johnson to Seattle overnight. However, since Johnson played nearly the full match in the 3-1 American win, he was not included in the Sounders 18.
Beckerman and Rimando both started. However, Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) and Will Johnson (Canada) missed the match for RSL.
Johnson wasn't the only absence for Seattle. Coach Sigi Schmid was missing most of his starting backline and Jeff Parke played with several stitches in his head.
Schmid's defensive concerns deepened after half an hour when Zach Scott scythed down Javier Morales to earn his second yellow card. Referee Ricardo Salazar ejected Scott.
"Lord help us if we get Salazar in the playoffs," Sigi Schmid said.
Makeshift right back Brad Evans moved next to Parke and Michael Seamon, a midfielder, entered the match at right back. John Kennedy Hurtado was on the bench, but the Seattle coaching staff worried about his ability to last an hour with a new mask to protect his facial fracture.
Seattle had a penalty shout in the second half, but most of the chances came through RSL. Michael Gspurning made five saves, including two impressive reflex blocks in stoppage time to preserve the draw.
Real, second in the Western Conference, now only needs one more point to lock down a top three finish in the West. Fourth and fifth square off in a knockout game at the start of the playoffs.
"A result is a result," Jason Kreis said. "One point was our baseline objective coming into the night, we felt if we could get one point, we could control our own destiny in the last week of the season, and make sure we don’t have to play that wild card game."
Seattle is third in the West.
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