2007 Jun 9
Atlanta Silverbacks 0 - 0 Seattle Sounders
Silverbacks Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Atlanta: Ryan McIntosh; Omar Jarun, David Hayes, Matthew Bobo, Tony McManus (Justin Moore 68'); Scott Buete, Dayton O'Brien (Luis Liendo 90'), Hassim Rafique (Warren Ukah 75'), Angel Rivillo (Alvin Hudson 90'); Rodrigo Ríos, Dan Antoniuk. Substitutes not used: Felipe Quintero, John Queely, Kevin Barrow.
Seattle: Chris Eylander; Danny Jackson, Noah Merl, Zach Scott; Kevin Sakuda, Leighton O'Brien (Kenji Treschuk 79'), Josh Gardner (Santa Maria Rivera 59'), Sebastien Le Toux, Greg Howes; Roger Levesque (Jake Besagno 89'), Nate Knox (Andre Schmid 68'). Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon.
Additional match reports: Gwinnett Daily Post, Silverbacks.
Match report from the Sounders:
Chris Eylander and Leighton O'Brien returned to the starting 11 for the Sounders Saturday night when Sounders played to a 0-0 draw against the Atlanta Silverbacks at Greater Atlanta Re/Max Stadium.
O'Brien provided some early drama in an otherwise stale match earning a yellow card for a late challenge before sending a spot on ball over the top for Sebastien Le Toux, who combined with Josh Gardner, but was unable to threaten the Silverbacks' goal.
O'Brien's start came at the expense of defender Jake Besagno. Danny Jackson moved from the center midfield back to his natural position at center back with Noah Merl moving to the right and Zach Scott starting again on the left side of the defense.
Greg Howes again played in the holding midfield role alongside Kevin Sakuda after a quality performance against Charleston. Roger Levesque continued to work the right side of the five man middle and Gardner played on the left.
Nathan Knox retained his spot up front after scoring his third goal of the season against Charleston. He was the target man for the Le Toux to work off of.
Neither team was able to generate much in the way of scoring chances as the first 35 minutes crawled by uneventfully. More often than not, the teams exchanged errant passes in the midfield, struggling to find any sort of rhythm or momentum.
Le Toux had the best chance in the 39th minute when he won a challenge with fill in goal keeper Ryan McIntosh, but saw his effort not only cleared off the line by the Atlanta defense but also called back for a foul.
McIntosh was called into action after starter Felipe Quintero-Monsivais went down injured, but the Sounders were unable to take advantage of the inexperienced keeper logging no shots on goal before the break.
The half ended at 0-0 without even a moment of stoppage time or any sort of event that would have deserved it.
The second half provided instant excitement as Howes and Le Toux combined in the 18 yard box within the first two minutes, but the Silverbacks managed to put a body in front of both players' efforts and McIntosh remained untested.
In the 50th minute it was Le Toux's hard work that forced McIntosh into a mistake as he gave up possession inside the 18 yard box that Seattle turned into a corner kick which was flicked just off target by Scott.
Continued pressure from the Sounders forced the Silverback keeper to do just enough to keep the ball out of the net with a diving punch out on a Gardner corner.
Gardner made way for the fresh legs of Santa Maria Rivera at the hour mark as Atlanta seemed to have taken control of the match.
Head coach Brian Schmetzer pulled Knox off in the 70th minute in favor of Forward Andre Schmid, hoping to find a late goal and a fourth consecutive victory.
The Silverbacks best chance of the match to that point came in the 73rd when defender Matthew Bobo forced Eylander into an impressive near post save with a low header from a set piece.
The chance ignited the Atlanta offense as they immediately came forward and generated two more quality chances.
Levesque earned a free kick 24 yards in front of goal after a Le Toux run down the left forced McIntosh into a quality save, but O'Brien was unable to convert the opportunity.
In the 81st minute O'Brien went down clutching his left hamstring, and Sounder fans are left to fear a recurrence of the injury which kept him out of much of the early season, as he was immediately subbed off in favor of Kenji Treschuk.
A minute later David Hayes blasted a close range effort over the bar for Atlanta as the home team tried to feed off the fans energy and earn full points from the match.
Seattle continued to work the counter attack with Le Toux, looking for the opening that would extend their win steak to four matches and take them closer to the top of the first division table.
Andre Schmid came to the forefront for Seattle in the late going as he earned a free kick at the top of the 18 that Howes took and saw deflected over the backline for a Sounders corner which wouldn’t turn into the winner.
In the 88th minute Schmid slid into a rash challenge trying to hold the ball in the danger zone and was attacked by the Atlanta defender after the whistle in a play that unfolded almost exactly the same way as the play that Sounders keeper Eylander earned a red card and two match suspension for under the league's no tolerance policy against Carolina on May 23rd. The Atlanta defender was issued a yellow card before the final minutes ticked away on the 0-0 draw.
The draw takes the Sounders unbeaten streak to four matches and puts them at a 4-4-4 record with 16 points on the season.
Shots: 12 9
Saves: 3 3
Corners: 7 8
Fouls: 11 8
Offsides: 0 2
12' SEA: L O'Brien cautioned
90' SEA: Schmid cautioned
90' ATL: Jarun cautioned
90' ATL: Hayes cautioned
Referees: Erich Simmons; Patrick Baker, William Cleland; Serdar Ertep