Sounders, Earthquakes feel strain in goalless draw
Emilee Chinn / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes creaked their way to a 0-0 draw as both teams opened their campaigns in the MLS is Back Tournament on Friday.

Players from both sides suffered a series of pulls and strains in the second period, losing the rhythm whipped up during a competitive first half at the Orlando-based event.

Health restrictions in the Bay Area meant the Earthquakes had less time to train before the tournament than any other MLS team, but in the first period, they looked the fittest of the clubs to feature thus far. Although there's some way to go to reach the benchmark of Matias Almeyda's Chivas de Guadalajara - the winners of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2018 - the players seemed to have a greater grasp of the Argentine head coach's philosophy.

The Sounders were suffocated by San Jose's approach and conceded the most chances, but you can't sleep on Brian Schmetzer's side. Cristian Roldan drew a strong save from Daniel Vega after the first water break, offering a reminder of the reigning MLS Cup champions' usual economy in front of goal.

The second half had little flow as the teams picked up numerous niggling injuries, but both goalkeepers were called into action, with Vega stopping three further shots and Stefan Frei adding four saves. Seattle's lack of sharpness was summed up when Raul Ruidiaz hesitated on an opportunity on the edge of the 12-yard box with around six minutes of normal time remaining; a fit Ruidiaz would've lashed the ball home.

The Sounders next take the pitch Tuesday against the Chicago Fire, while the Earthquakes resume their group-stage endeavors against the Vancouver Whitecaps a day later.

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Sounders, Earthquakes feel strain in goalless draw
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