Real Salt Lake battles to scoreless draw with first-place Seattle Sounders

RSL has 3-1 edge in shots on goal but fails again in quest for two straight wins

Associated Press file photo Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Zac MacMath, shown during a match last season, stopped the only Seattle Sounders shot on goal he faced Saturday night.

Sandy • Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei finished with three saves, and Real Salt Lake’s Zac MacMath turned away the only shot on goal he faced in a scoreless draw on Saturday night.

Frei’s league-high sixth clean sheet of the Major League Soccer season helped Seattle (6-2-2) earn a point for just the second time in its last 11 trips to Sandy.

Real Salt Lake (3-5-1), coming off a 3-1 victory over San Jose, was trying to win back-to-back matches for the first time in its past nine attempts, instead falling to 0-5-4 following a win.

The Sounders improve to 4-1-1 in their past six matches. Seattle’s only loss was a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Portland Timbers, conceding four goals in an 18-minute span after grabbing a 1-0 lead. Frei and the Sounders have yielded just three goals in their other 882 minutes of play this season.

Seattle moved a point ahead of expansion St. Louis City atop the Western Conference standings thanks to the Timbers’ 2-1 victory over SLC earlier in the night.

Real Salt Lake travels to play the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

Seattle returns home to host winless Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.