The Dynamo and RSL played to their second tie of the season, this time with 10 players apiece after Andrew Hainault for the Dynamo and Clint Mathis for Salt Lake were ejected in separate incidents in the first half. Pat Onstad made a season-high eight saves to preserve the shutout.
The Houston Dynamo earned a valuable road point against one of the toughest home teams in Major League Soccer on Saturday night, playing to a 0-0 tie with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Both teams played the entire second half with 10 men after each team received a red card during separate incidents in the first half. Real Salt Lake entered the game with a +14 goal differential in home games this year.
With the tie, the Dynamo move into a tie for first place in the overall MLS standings with the Columbus Crew. Both teams now have 39 points, although Columbus has a game in hand on the Dynamo. Houston also ran its lead in the Western Conference to eight points, although most teams have 2-4 games in hand on the Dynamo.
Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad made a season-high eight saves to earn the shutout, his league-leading ninth of the year and Houston’s first shutout in MLS play since July 4 in Kansas City. Onstad and the Dynamo currently lead the league in total goals allowed (20) despite having played the most games (23) of any team in the league. Houston has led MLS in goals allowed in each of the last two years.
Defender Ryan Cochrane made his 63rd career start for the Dynamo in all competitions but his first since the 2007 MLS Cup; Cochrane was re-acquired in a trade on Friday. He wore No. 4.
Midfielder Brian Mullan came on as a second half substitute to make his first appearance since July 21, when he played the final minutes of regulation and overtime on a sprained ankle in the Dynamo’s Open Cup loss to Seattle.
Forward Brian Ching and midfielder Stuart Holden both played 90 minutes for Houston after playing for the United States national team in a World Cup qualifier on the road against Mexico on Wednesday.
For Houston, Pat Onstad made his 190th career MLS regular season start, Stuart Holden made his 50th, and Geoff Cameron made his 30th. Mike Chabala made his 10th MLS appearance of the season, the first year in which he has appeared in MLS play.
The Dynamo have seven MLS games remaining, including four at Robertson Stadium and road games against Colorado, Columbus, and Chivas USA.
Houston was without forward Cam Weaver (hernia surgery), midfielder Ricardo Clark, and defenders Richard Mulrooney (knee surgery) and Eddie Robinson (disabled list).
Houston Dynamo (11-6-6) vs. Real Salt Lake (7-8-6)
August 15, 2009 -- Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy UT
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Ryan Cochrane (Craig Waibel 90), Wade Barrett, Corey Ashe (Brian Mullan 68), Geoff Cameron, Stuart Holden, Brad Davis (Mike Chabala 83), Brian Ching, Kei Kamara
Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Ade Akinbiyi, Danny Cruz, Dominic Oduro.
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell (Chris Wingert 83), Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran (Pablo Campos 86), Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, Javier Morales, Clint Mathis, Robbie Findley, Fabian Espindola (Yura Movsisyan 65).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Seitz, Rachid El Khalifi, Ned Grabavoy, Andy Williams.
RSL -- Clint Mathis (caution; Tactical Foul) 84
HOU -- Andrew Hainault (caution; Reckless Tackle) 8
RSL -- Jamison Olave (caution; Tactical Foul) 30
HOU -- Wade Barrett (caution; Tactical Foul) 35
HOU -- Andrew Hainault (ejection; Second Caution) 36
RSL -- Clint Mathis (ejection; Second Caution) 47+
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman (caution; Tactical Foul) 75
RSL -- Tony Beltran (caution; Tactical Foul) 77
Referee: Paul Ward
Referee's Assistants: George Gansner; Daniel Belleau
4th official: Tyler Ploeger
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial