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Sounders, Tiburones Rojos claw and scrape to scoreless draw

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Sounders, Tiburones Rojos claw and scrape to scoreless draw

It was no Pastry War as Veracruz defense stymies Seattle

No one heard Woodrow Wilson's guns, but 1,200 fans took advantage of free admission to watch Seattle Sounders FC face Mexican second division side Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz. Despite chances for both teams, the match at at Kino Field 5 ended in a nil-nil draw.

Not that the teams didn't have chances. Seattle's first came in the seventh minute when a shot from Eddie Johnson caromed off the crossbar and right post. The shot looked sure to go in, but instead it bounced into safety without crossing the end line.

A second chance for Seattle came in the fifteenth minute, also from Eddie Johnson. As he moved toward the goal, a desperate Raúl Rico sliced him down. It earned Rico a red card, and Seattle a free kick just outside the penalty area. Seattle couldn't convert the free kick, and the score remained level.

Veracruz was allowed to substitute a man for Rico since it was a tune-up match. Despite still having eleven men, Veracruz played a defensive game for much of the rest of the half. Seattle would press, Veracruz would get the ball and pass it among their defenders.

Veracruz had the better of chances in the second half, with Mexican World Cup veteran Braulio Luna being an obvious crowd favorite. He tested Seattle keeper Michael Gspurning on two occasions, but the Austrian was able to stop both.

Despite the last minute barrage from Luna and former Pumas forward José Luis López, the game ended in a hard-fought draw.

Seattle continues play on Saturday night in the final for the Desert Diamond Cup. They face Real Salt Lake at 6 p.m. at Kino Stadium. Fourth-place Veracruz returns to Mexico to continue their clausura campaign in the Liga de Ascenso next Friday with a game against Universidad de Guadalajara.

Hanging with the paisanos

Even with the result, Seattle got what they wanted out of the game. Their attacking trio of Eddie Johnson, Steve Zakuani and Mauro Rosales had 90 minutes to play together.

What did Veracruz get out of the match?

"My conclusion is we need to develop consistency," said Braulio Luna. "That's what we did in the second half."

The 38-year-old Luna is a long-time veteran of Mexican soccer, debuting for UNAM Pumas back in 1994. He also has appeared in two World Cups for Mexico, 1998 and 2002. Even with that pedigree in the Mexican game, Luna talked up his respect for American soccer and said the "American mentality is strong and tough."

Luna and several of his teammates stayed behind and talked to fans that remember his World Cup days and signed a few autographs.

"I enjoy playing in the United States, LA, Phoenix, Tucson, every city," he said of the fans. "With the paisanos it's awesome."

EJ, save that for the season

Interestingly, Sounder Eddie Johnson's runs brought him into the advertising boards on the sidelines twice. Both times, he knocked over the advertisements for Red Bull energy drink.

If this is an indication of buried hostilities, he won't get to otherwise act on them until Sept. 29, the only regular season game scheduled between Seattle and New York Red Bulls this year.


Seattle Sounders FC v Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz

Kino Sports Park

  • Scoring summary
  • none
  • Misconduct summary
  • TRV - Raúl Rico (ejection, 15')
  • SEA - Zach Scott (caution, 81')
  • Seattle Sounders FC: Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mario Martínez, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Steve Zakuani, Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson
  • Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz: Yoin Urbina, Raul Rico, Omar Dominguez, Guillermo Chavez, Orlando Pineda, Jose Luis Lopez, Jorge Manrique, Braulio Luna, Rafael Medina, Pablo Torres, Alvaro Estrada
  • Note: lineups are starters only.

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