The Seattle Sounders picked up a valuable point on the road on Saturday night following a scoreless draw against Nashville SC at Geodis Park.
It was a slow start to proceedings as both teams battled it out in midfield for the first 15 minutes. In the 16th minute, the Sounders nearly found an opener when Nicolás Lodeiro released Léo Chú down the left, and Brazilian played a teasing ball that nearly found the run of Cristian Roldan for a tap-in.
Nashville’s first chance of the evening came in the 25th minute as Hany Mukhtar fired a shot from a tight angle, only to be denied by a sprawling save from Stefan Frei. A few minutes later, Sam Surridge almost picked out the far corner with a first-time curled effort but his shot flashed wide.
Seattle generated a pair of quality chances in the 33rd minute as Alex Roldan forced Joe Willis into a save from close range, and Lodeiro came close to a world-class goal from the top of the box but his shot missed the far post by mere inches.
The hosts nearly broke the deadlock with a lightning-quick counter on the brink of halftime, but Jackson Ragen denied Jacob Shaffelburg a sure goal from inside the box with a last-ditch slide tackle.
The match started to open up in the 57th minute when Reed Baker-Whiting dribbled past several defenders before laying a ball into the path of Héber, but it was cleared out by a recovering Nashville defender. From the ensuing corner, the Brazilian striker rattled the crossbar with a headed effort and then appeared to open the scoring on his second attempt, but it was called back for offside following Video Review.
In the 61st minute, Seattle pounced on a Nashville turnover and the ball eventually came to Lodeiro at the top of the box, but the Sounders’ No. 10 pulled his shot wide of the far post.
Four minutes later, a spell of possession for Seattle culminated in Cristian Roldan receiving the ball in a pocket of space just outside the area, but his powerful shot just missed the target.
Both sides traded possession over the final half hour, but the match ended in a stalemate.
Drafted into the starting lineup due to Nouhou’s suspension from yellow card accumulation, Baker-Whiting put in another stellar shift. The 18-year-old defender kept Nashville’s attack quiet down his side all evening. In the attack, he pushed forward and turned some heads with clever bits of skill to help unlock the hosts’ defensive shape.
Center Back Clinic
Sounders defenders Yeimar and Ragen put on a masterclass at Geodis Park. The duo were dominant in the air and kept reigning MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar under wraps all evening. On the rare occasions Nashville managed to get in behind, Yeimar and Ragen were on hand to supply a last-ditch intervention.
The Sounders are back in action on Wednesday night as they host the LA Galaxy (7:30 p.m. PT | Watch Free on Apple TV, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM) on the Emerald Queen Casino Pitch at Lumen Field. It’s set to be a battle between two of the historic powerhouses of the Western Conference with massive postseason implications.