By BRUCE CONSTANTINEAU
METRO VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders played to a scoreless draw Saturday in a pre-season friendly in front of 3,895 fans at Swangard Stadium.
The game featured several scoring chances but a lack of finish by both teams as they get ready for their respective seasons in different leagues — the 'Caps in USSF D-2 Pro League and the Sounders in Major League Soccer.
The game was Vancouver's fourth in a row against MLS opposition as it looks to join MLS in 2011. It has one win, two losses and a draw in those games.
The Sounders held a slight edge in play in the first half but many of their chances were called offside, particularly irritating formal Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg when he appeared to be set free in the 28th minute. A Sounders goal on a header from midfielder Steve Zakuani was called offside.
The speedy Zakuani also forced the issue in the 21st minute, breaking in from the left flank and forcing 'Caps goalie Jay Nolly to make a great save, pushing the ball wide of the near post.
The Whitecaps best first-half chance came when forward Dever Orgill took a quick shot inside the Seattle box but the strike was easily stopped by Sounders keeper Kasey Keller.
First-year 'Caps midfielder Blake Wagner — who played in MLS with FC Dallas last season — just missed a great chance midway through the second half when he fired the ball past Keller but it went barely wide of the far post. Vancouver put a lot of pressure on the Sounders shortly after that but couldn't beat Keller.
The Sounders defeated the 'Caps 3-2 last month in an exhibition game in Arizona and Saturday's game was the team's first in B.C. since it joined MLS last year. The Whitecaps' all-time record against MLS opposition is four wins, seven losses and three ties.
The Sounders begin regular-season MLS play on March 25 when they host the expansion Philadelphia Union while the Whitecaps start regular-season USSF D-2 Pro League play on April 11 when they host NSC Minnesota Stars.
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