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RSL battles to road draw despite advantage over ten-man Seattle

Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders battled to a 0-0 draw despite the home side being weakened by an early red card.

Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Despite Seattle Sounders going down a man in the first half, Real Salt Lake couldn't put the finishing touches on a strong performance. In the end, the 0-0 draw was yet another scintillating match in the growing rivalry between the two.

The draw leaves RSL and Seattle likely to face each other in the playoffs, with the Sounders in third place with three points between them and second-place Salt Lake.

The match was altered in a substantial way after Seattle's Zach Scott was sent off for his second yellow card in the 30th minute. Down a man, Seattle looked to protect their weekend defensive line, and they did with some real success.

The best opportunity of the match came RSL attacking midfielder Sebastian Velasquez's shot bobbled off Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning in the final minute of stoppage time. The young Colombian was one of three attacking midfielders on the pitch late on, with Javier Morales playing a full 90 and newcomer David Viana coming on in the 80th minute.

Despite strengthening the attack when Seattle was content to defend in ranks, RSL were still rarely unable to break down the two banks of four presented.

Kreis's ranks were undoubtedly weakened up top when Paulo Jr. was forced to pull out of the match, and Emiliano Bonfigli was handed his first start. The Argentine had a few bright moments but was unable to get heavily involved in the proceedings.

The most notable statistic from the match must be Kyle Beckerman's 137 attempted passes, of which 123 were successful - far and away the most attempted passes in the 2012 campaign by any MLS player in any single match.

In a frustrating match, there are some small victories to be had. A point, some brilliant play, a great MLS match on national TV.

However, injuries to Paulo Jr. (pre-match) and Jamison Olave (withdrawn at the half) were a blow. Jason Kreis will be looking forward to having Will Johnson and Alvaro Saborio back in his ranks, and with Ned Grabavoy working back from injury, it may be a case of two-out, three-in on Tuesday.

RSL will be looking to move on to Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Costa Rican side Herediano in a bid to move forward. Their final MLS match follows later that week with a home match against Vancouver Whitecaps. It may be the line between the fourth seed in the Western Conference and a wild-card match, and a third-seed finish with no play-in.