Sounders FC (2-1-1, 7 points) earned a point in its first road match of the season after playing D.C. United (1-2-2, 5 points) to a 0-0 result Saturday night in front of 15,651 at RFK Stadium. Marc Burch, in his return to D.C., nearly gave Seattle the game-winner in stoppage time when he rebounded an Osvaldo Alonso shot with a header that hit the crossbar.
In the 93rd minute, Alonso dribbled up the middle and let loose a strong shot from the top of the box that was knocked away by United keeper Joe Willis. The ball bounced right to Burch, who charged in from the left side and headed the ball hard off the crossbar. The left back, who spent the last five seasons in D.C., had just come on in the previous minute for Alvaro Fernandez.
Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning tied his season-high with four saves and earned his second shutout of the season. The Austrian international dominated the box, using his 6’5″ frame to continually reach up and deny crossing attempts. In the 51st minute, he punched a header over crossbar after a dangerous Emiliano Dudar throw-in, then rose up and punched the ensuing corner kick clear.
In the 58th, a dangerous cross from the left side was plucked out of the air by Gspurning before it could find a D.C. player, and in the 69th he dove to knock away a strong free-kick from Nick DeLeon.
The game got off to a slow start, the first shot for either team not coming until the 22nd minute when Fredy Montero created some space and rifled a ball from the top of the box right to the chest of Willis.
United immediately responded with a chance of their own in the 23rd when Hamdi Salihi got a left-footed shot off a cross from Nick DeLeon, but it sailed high for a goal kick. The Seattle defense was stout the rest of the half, allowing just one more shot in the first 45 minutes.
David Estrada continued his strong form, creating two strong scoring chances in the first half. After a run up the middle in the 32nd minute, he led Fernandez up the left side into the box, but his shot missed outside the far post.
Two minutes later in the 34th, Estrada blasted a volley from the top of the box that went right to Montero, but the Colombian striker’s header went wide.
D.C. had a strong chance to take the lead in the 74th when Chris Pontius got an open look in the box after a nice back-heel pass from Maicon Santos, but the shot went wide.
The loss snaps a five-match road winning streak for the Rave Green, tied for the fourth-best all-time. Sounders FC has been notoriously successful on the road in their short history, now 20-14-14 all time away from Seattle. They were an MLS-best 9-3-5 on the road in 2011.
Eddie Johnson made his Sounders FC MLS debut when he came on for Estrada in the 66th minute. On the first play after coming in, Johnson won a header on a cross from Zach Scott, but the attempt went wide.