Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers opened their 2015 campaigns with an entertaining scoreless draw on Saturday at Providence Park.
Portland came into the season missing some important pieces as Argentine playmaker Diego Valeri is out after suffering a torn ACL last season, while captain Will Johnson will miss a significant length of time with a broken leg.
For Real Salt Lake 2015 begins with some changes in the back line as Jamison Olave returns following a stint with the New York Red Bulls, while fellow defender Nat Borchers left for Portland.
It was a tight affair from the outset on the turf of Providence Park, but the home side had the better of the play during the opening 45 minutes. The first half featured more than 20 fouls between the sides and three cautions.
The Timbers came out with more energy in the second half and created a great chance in the 53rd minute when a corner kick fell to the feet of Rodney Wallace, who ripped one on frame from close range, but RSL goalkeeper was there to make an excellent point-blank save.
Timbers head coach Caleb Porter sent diminutive forward Max Urruti on as a substitute in the 82nd minute looking for an offensive spark and a late winning goal.
The fourth official's board showed four minutes of added time, but neither club could find a winning goal as the sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils on opening night.