CARSON, Calif. -- Despite coming into Monday's match on a three-game winning streak, Sounders FC players and coaches still felt they had something to prove.
And what better chance for Seattle to establish itself as a dominant Major League Soccer team than on the road against the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy?
After 90 minutes of thrills and near misses, the two teams played to a scoreless tie in front of 27,000 at The Home Depot Center. It was a somewhat frustrating, but ultimately encouraging result for the Sounders.
"Anytime you go out against a quality side like the Galaxy you want to measure yourself," said defender James Riley. "This was a chance on a big stage. This is a tough place to play, especially on the Fourth of July, so it's pretty good to come out here with a draw. We'll take that."
Sounders FC (8-4-8) is unbeaten in its past five road games and past seven overall.
L.A. (9-2-9) hasn't lost in its past 11 league games and remains the only Western Conference team unbeaten at home at 4-0-5. The Galaxy had beaten Seattle in five straight MLS games (regular season and playoffs) by a combined 11-2 score.
Playing L.A. tough this time, said goalkeeper Kasey Keller, created a positive vibe for the Sounders going forward.
"They have the most points in the league and there's a reason for that," he said. "We came here and gave them a good game."
Both teams chased for the winning goal late, but several chances on either end went for naught. In the final minute of stoppage time the Sounders earned a dangerous free kick, but defender Jeff Parke couldn't quite get on the end of a cross by Tyson Wahl.
L.A.'s best chance came in the 69th minute, but Keller saved a dangerous shot by Galaxy forward Juan Pablo Angel off the post.
The best scoring opportunity of the game came to Seattle in the 18th minute, when Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez committed a handball in the penalty box while blocking Fredy Montero's bicycle kick.
With midfielder Brad Evans, who normally takes the team's penalty kicks, on the bench, Montero stepped up. But L.A. goalkeeper Brian Perk, making his MLS debut, dived to his right to make the save.
"It was a little short, and he dove for it and got it," said Montero through a translator. "That's the end of the story."
Said coach Sigi Schmid: "Making PKs in big games, he's got to do it."
Perk was forced into the lineup after starter Donovan Ricketts broke his arm last week in San Jose and backup Josh Saunders was out with a red-card suspension. Seattle had hoped to take advantage of Perk's inexperience but finished goal-less for the fifth time this year.
"Overall a draw was probably a fair result," said Keller, "but at the same time either team could've stole it. Good day, more positive than negative."
--Sounders FC next travels to Portland on Sunday for a 1 p.m. road game. It's the second and final regular-season meeting between the rivals.
--Seattle and L.A. play a Reserve League game Tuesday at 11 a.m. at a Home Depot Center training field.
--Montero, who missed the last game with a quadriceps strain, returned to the starting lineup. Evans, who also sat last week with a hamstring strain, played as a second-half substitute. Sounders FC used its 17th different starting lineup in 20 games.
--Despite suffering from back spasms, L.A. midfielder David Beckham came on as a second-half substitute. The Galaxy had to remove each of its starting center backs -- Gonzalez (hip) and A.J. DeLaGarza -- due to injury.
--The Sounders are 1-5-2 against L.A. overall.
* Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayersseattletimes.com
Seattle 0 0 -- 0
Los Angeles 0 0 -- 0
First half -- None. Second half -- None. Goalies -- Seattle, Kasey Keller; Los Angeles, Brian Perk. Yellow cards -- Alonso, Seattle, 55th; Donovan, Los Angeles, 90th+. Shots -- Seattle 14, Los Angeles 9. Shots on goal -- Seattle 2, Los Angeles 2. Saves -- Seattle 2, Los Angeles 2. Fouls -- Seattle 13, Los Angeles 14. Corner kicks -- Seattle 5, Los Angeles 2. Offsides -- Seattle 6, Los Angeles 3. Referee -- Ricardo Salazar. Assistant referees -- Peter Manikowski. Colin Arblaster. 4th official -- Alejandro Mariscal. A -- 27,000.
Seattle -- Kasey Keller, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales (Lamar Neagle, 90th+), Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan, 71st), Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (Brad Evans, 61st).
Los Angeles -- Brian Perk, Omar Gonzalez (Bryan Jordan, 80th), Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza (Gregg Berhalter, 24th), Sean Franklin, Juninho, Landon Donovan, Chris Birchall, Chad Barrett, Mike Magee (David Beckham, 69th), Juan Pablo Angel.