for this game

Busch stops 5, leads Fire to 0-0 draw vs. Seattle

Jul 25, 2009 - 10:42 PM By MARK MOSCHETTI STATS MLS Correspondent

SEATTLE (STATS) - Even when the game was finished, Jon Busch's day wasn't.

Busch made five saves, two on consecutive point-blank tries by Nate Jaqua during the first half, to help the Chicago Fire earn a 0-0 road draw against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

From the Pacific Northwest, next up for Busch was a coast-to-coast flight to New York to join the United States national team for Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup final against Mexico.

On Saturday, Busch helped the Fire (7-3-8) extended their unbeaten streak to four matches (2-0-2) following a three-game losing streak from May 31-June 13.

"That's my job, to make saves and catch crosses. Some games, you have a lot to do, and some games, you don't," said Busch, who hasn't played in any of the five U.S. Gold Cup games. "If we all work hard and stay focused defensively, we'll be OK at the end of the day. And we did that."

Busch got some late help when a shot by Fredy Montero bounced off the right side of the crossbar, and another Sounders shot in traffic in the penalty area was cleared off the line by Chris Rolfe.

"That was about as exciting of a 0-0 game as you're going to have in our league," Fire coach Dennis Hamlett said. "Both teams came out to attack, and both teams had a chance to win the game. In the end, it was probably a fair result."

Seattle (7-3-8) is unbeaten in six games (3-0-3), but Jaqua was among those in the locker room not happy with being kept off the board after he got off four of Seattle's 15 shots.

"It's disappointing - I think we did enough to win, but we have to be a little sharper in front of the goal," Jaqua said. "You just have to keep plugging away and stay confident. But for some reason, it just didn't go in for us today."

The Sounders had three near-misses during the first half - all by Jaqua. In the second minute, Jaqua took a shot from the top of the 6-yard box that hit the right post, giving Busch just enough time to scramble and clear it over the goal line.

Midway through the 37th minute, Montero lofted a target ball into the box. Jaqua's header was saved by Busch, but he wasn't able to secure the ball. It rebounded back to Jaqua, whose point-blank shot from inside the 6-yard box was stopped by Busch.

Jaqua had another golden opportunity early in the 71st minute when he got around Busch, but his shot was deflected away from the post at the last instant.

"When you dominate games, you have to score goals," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "We went at them early on, and I thought we created a lot of chances. I told the guys at halftime to keep playing the way we have been, and just don't get caught on the counterattack. The key for us is we have to do a better job of finishing our opportunities."

Kasey Keller made two saves for Seattle to earn his sixth shutout of the season. He got some help from the crossbar in the 88th minute when Brandon Prideaux hit it with a close-range shot.

Michael Pappa had the best chance for the Fire during the first half, watching his shot across the box from the left side skitter past the wide-open goalmouth and just wide of the far post.

Both teams finished with 10 players.

Chicago's John Thorrington was sent off with his second yellow card in the 55th minute. Just three minutes later, Seattle's Freddie Ljungberg was shown a yellow for diving. His subsequent protest to referee Baldomero Toledo drew a second yellow, leading to his ejection.

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Story from: STATS LLC, http://www.stats.com.