Sandy • It had been about three weeks since Real Salt Lake experienced the joyful taste of sweet victory.
After Wednesday, the team still hasn’t.
But RSL didn’t lose, either, as it played Seattle to a 0-0 tie at Rio Tinto Stadium, breaking a three-game losing streak.
“We’ll say the glass is half full,” RSL coach Jason Kreis said.
Despite dominating play, Real Salt Lake could not break through with the one goal that would have helped wipe away a litany of mistakes, poor decisions and bad breaks.
Still, there was plenty of positive energy afterward.
“I feel a little bit sad for them that they couldn’t walk out with all three points,” RSL coach Jason Kreis said. “On a different night, maybe we finish one or two of those chances.
“But we’ll look at the positives in this game and say, ‘OK, that’s our first shutout in a long time.’ And we’re still, I think, controlling the rhythm of the game.”
Kreis wanted more emotion from what he expected to be a capacity crowd, and he got it. Rio Tinto rocked louder with each RSL scoring chance.
The 20,363 in attendance, so wanting to explode into delirium, could not will the ball into the net.
“At home, we’re always going to be aggressive,” Kreis said. “I just wanted a massive, massive effort from the guys and a real coming together to do everything they could to right the ship.”
Salt Lake had the best of a few scoring opportunities during a scoreless first half and most of the chances throughout the second.
“They came and parked the bus and tried to hit us on the counter,” RSL midfielder Will Johnson said. “If you don’t get a goal on them then they’re allowed to do that for the full 90 minutes, which makes for a boring game.”
Whether it was the poor run of play or Seattle’s tactics, RSL could not convert a handful of solid scoring chances.
“I think there will always be a little extra anxiousness right now,” Kreis said. “Our last home game I think we had 25 clear goal scoring chances and didn’t take any of them. ... I think there’s a little bit of angst right now in our attacking players.”
RSL nearly scored in the 16th minute from a header by Alvaro Saborio. And, in the span of five minutes, as RSL’s attack gained bite, Saborio nearly scored again. Alvaro had Sounders keeper Bryan Meredith beat, but was off target.
Saborio did put the ball in the net with a nifty flick of his foot in the 52nd minute, but the offside flag was raised.
Throughout the second half, RSL’s attack continued to build in waves. Real’s efforts were ultimately betrayed by the lack of a quality final pass.
Seattle, bunkering in defensively throughout much of the game, had few chances as Real’s midfield smothered most counterattacks from building.
And RSL’s two newest defenders, Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Kenny Mansally, played well enough to give Real added confidence in what had been an injury-riddled backline.
“Really pleased,” Kreis said of the duo’s performance.
In the 32nd minute, Seattle midfielder Servando Carrasco cleared a Nat Borchers header off the line with his chest.
RSL keeper Nick Rimando had little trouble with Seattle’s only real threat. Rimando punched a long pass from his right off the line in the 24th minute.
Storylines Salt Lake 0, Seatle 0
R Real Salt Lake snaps a three-game losing streak, but can’t put a goal in Seattle’s net.
• RSL’s best chances came via a pair of headers by Alvaro Saborio in the 16th and 23rd minutes.
• RSL outshoots Seattle 11-8, with a 3-1 advantage of shots on target.