Chalk Saturday night up as another missed opportunity for Real Salt Lake.
Despite long stretches of dominating soccer at Rice-Eccles Stadium, including 19 shots for RSL, it failed to capitalize on those plentiful chances and was forced to settle for a 0-0 draw against Kansas City.
Perhaps it was a fitting outcome for two teams who entered the match in identical positions. Both were sitting on 11 points in the standings and sixth place in their respective conferences.
"There's a lot of positive things to take out of that game, I think there was a lot of good soccer on our part, I really felt like we were the aggressors the entire night," said RSL coach John Kreis. "The only thing you can shake your head about or scratch your head about is the final touch, 'cause if that was there I think we would've had quite a few goals tonight."
It wasn't, however, and on a night when RSL outshot Kansas City 19-7, it walked away with its first scoreless draw of the season.
"I was pretty pleased with the way we played. I thought we played pretty good soccer ... the goal just wasn't there for us," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman. "If we went 0-0 and we didn't create any chances, then it would be a different story we'd be really frustrated and a bit worried."
The draw keeps RSL unbeaten at home at 3-0-3, but points were definitely once again left on the table like in previous home ties. In a 1-1 draw with Chicago in the opener, RSL outshot the Fire 17-8. In a 2-2 finish against the Galaxy, Salt Lake failed to put the visitors away with several chances that would've made it 3-0 in the first half.
"They know we need three points at home every home outing, and if we don't get it consider it a failure, so they're very, very frustrated we didn't get all three points," said Kreis.
There were plenty of opportunities to prevent such an outcome. After struggling to get going in the opening 20 minutes of the match, RSL poured it on in the final 25 minutes of the half, outshooting Kansas City 12-2.
The best sequence came in the 28th minute. Deuchar tried tapping a Beckerman through-ball past a charging Kevin Hartman, but the Kansas City keeper got a slight touch to knock it wide. On the ensuing corner kick, Deuchar's point-blank header was turned away by Hartman, and the Scottish striker sent his rebound chance over the cross bar.
In the 36th minute, Findley whiffed on a half-chance about six yards from goal, and three minutes later Findley, the reigning MLS Player of the Week, was denied by a Hartman diving save.
"I've stressed time and time again that when we've been on top of teams and if we don't take our goals, we make it difficult for ourselves," said Kreis. "So really from minute 25 to 45, we're all over them, all we need is a goal."
Midfielder Dema Kovalenko got involved with the near misses early in the second half. He put a 22-yard shot into the hands of a diving Hartman in the 50th minute, and six minutes later he sent a ball from a similar position inches past the right post.
RSL continued to be the aggressor throughout the second half, but things came to a screeching halt offensively after Beckerman put a shot inches wide in the 78th minute. It represented the last shot of the game for RSL, while three of Kansas City's shots came in the final 10 minutes.
Wizards midfielder Kerry Zavagnin nearly pulled off a stoppage-time winner, but his long-range blast in the waning minutes was tipped inches wide by keeper Nick Rimando.Salt Lake hits the road next week at Chivas USA in hopes of securing its first road win of the season. Kansas City ended a six-game road trip. As for Kansas City, it's no doubt thrilled to be wrap up a brutal six-game road trip.
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