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.
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Sounders fans had known that the club would be without Pappa because of duty with the Guatemala national team, and Dempsey because of 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 Sounders (1-1-1) say he is expected to be ready Saturday when the Houston Dynamo (1-1-2) comes to CenturyLink Field.
Saturday, 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 11 starters to replace, and before the evening was out 18-year-old 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.
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.
Dallas (3-0-1) was weakened by the loss of Perez and Hernandez to international duty and Diaz a late scratch because of 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.