SEATTLE (AP) - Playing with two defenders who hadn't seen a minute of action this season, the Seattle Sounders dealt high-scoring Atlanta United its first shutout of the year on Friday night, battling to a 0-0 tie.
The Sounders (1-1-2, 5 points) already had Jordy Delem on the lineup card for his first-ever MLS game when they scratched central defensive stalwart Chad Marshall just a few minutes before kickoff because of an illness. He was replaced by Tony Alfaro.
Atlanta (2-1-1, 7 points) came in with 11 goals over its first three games, just one behind league-leading Portland.
Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei preserved the shutout in the 87th minute when he dove to stop a 22-yard shot from straight on by Miguel Almiron. Frei also came up big in the 12th minute when he went down and stripped the ball off the left foot of Hector Villalba at the top left corner of the penalty area.
The Sounders, who have a 10-game regular-season home unbeaten streak dating to July 9, had two near misses. In the eighth minute, Cristian Roldan ran onto a cross from Jordan Morris but sent it just wide of the left post from inside the 6-yard box.
In the 58th minute, Clint Dempsey had a header from six yards in front that bounced off the crossbar.