In certain situations, you could probably argue that a nil-nil draw was exciting. Saturday's scoreless slugfest between Sporting Kansas City and Houston wasn't one of them.
Kansas City, as is becoming the norm, dominated the ball and scoring chances. But, aside from two decent chances, the game was bogged down by the heat and the bus the Dynamo parked in their own box.
So, KC dominates. Gets nothing. Well, except a valuable point in the midst of a grueling run of matches.
(Just keep reminding yourself: This regular season is a marathon, not a sprint.)
Having said that, there are a few notable stats, notes and quotes leftover from the match.
• How grueling is the current schedule? Between June 20 and Aug. 18 (a span of exactly 60 days), Sporting KC will play 16 matches -- 12 MLS, 2 U.S. Open Cup* and 2 international friendlies. Of those 16 matches, half are on the road.*If KC advances to the finals (which would be here at Livestrong Sporting Park), that jumps to 17 matches in 60 days.
• So far on this journey, KC are 2-2-2 in all competitions.
• On the season, KC are 10-5-3 (33 points). That's good for a tie for 1st place in the East.
• At Livestrong Sporting Park: 6-2-1.
• What's more: LSP has been sold out for seven-straight home games.
• 19,307 fans braved 104 degree heat on Saturday.
• Jimmy Nielsen, on the performance and weather: "Overall, it was another good performance—we were the dominating team. But the heat played a role today. I know that's no excuse, but it's just the facts. (The heat) is really, really bad right now. The tempo of the game was a little slow today because of that. But it's something we can't change—we have to deal with it and we have to be smart on the field and let the ball do the work."
• Big number: LSP's average attendance on the year is 19,348. That's sixth-best in the league.
• Opposing coaches continue to laud the stadium. Dominic Kinnear: "Coming here is an absolute joy. It is a great place to play and the people of Kansas City should be very proud of this stadium."
• Hard to believe, Saturday was the first SKC game this year that neither team received a yellow or red card.
• Even harder to believe: This was the first 0-0 draw of the season for Kansas City.
• Head coach Peter Vermes, however, was complimentary of his team after the game. "I thought that is was a very, very good performance for us tonight. I thought that we dominated the game. Houston played well; they did what they came in to do, which was to try to get a point. They had a lot of numbers, especially as we moved up the field to get around their goal. They just dropped everything back and inside and really closed down the space. Regardless, I couldn't have asked anything more from the guys. We gave up one chance in the first half and Jimmy had a great save. After that, we locked it down. We had some very good looks at goal as well. The problem was that they had so many bodies in there. When there are so many bodies in front of you, you have to be so fine and precise with everything. Overall, I'm very happy with our performance. I think we deserved a better result, but in the end, the guys did a very good job."
• KC outshot its opponent for the 13th time. On the season, KC leads the league with 298 shots.
• Since the two-week international break in early June, Kansas City have only scored four goals in the run-of-play (in the last five matches). Reserve forward Jacob Peterson has half of those run-of-play goals.
• This lack of scoring does not phase Vermes either: "Our performance was great. We dominated and controlled the game in a lot of different respects. I thought we switched the point of attack and our ball circulation was good. Possession stats were in our favor, as it should have been. It's not that we can't score; we just scored 3 goals the other day. It's that sometimes you are off the mark or a team drops a lot of people back, making it more difficult to find that area of the field. I'm glad that we continued to attack, but we did it with good balance in the back and didn't give anything away."
• Kansas City was stout defensively. Again. This was the seventh time this season that KC allowed no goals. Beyond that, the defense allowed just two chances on goal and conceded ZERO corner kicks.
• Defender Aurelien Collin: "We were solid in defense and we had a lot of opportunities ourselves to score. We really could have won today—too bad we didn't, but it's not a bad result."
• KC is 18-2-3 when the quartet of Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin starts in defense.
• Shots aren't the only category KC dominates: They lead the league with 116 corner kicks.
• Graham Zusi leads MLS with 80 corner kicks. He is tied for second with 8 assists and leads the league with four game-winning assists.
• Only two players have logged every minute of every MLS match this season: Jimmy Nielsen and Chance Myers.
• Speaking of Nielsen, the Dane leads MLS in wins (10) and is tied with Joe Cannon for most shutouts (7).
• KC is 8-4-3 wearing Sporting Blue kits.