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Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma

Sounders clinch playoff berth

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Michael Gspurning made three saves for his sixth shutout of the season as the Seattle Sounders played to a scoreless draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night, clinching a Western Conference playoff berth.

The Sounders (13-7-10) are assured of finishing no worse than fourth in West.

Vancouver (10-12-9) extended its winless streak to seven games (0-5-2), but gained a valuable point as it tries to hold on to the conference's fifth and final playoff spot.

Gspurning got the shutout only after Camilo missed a chance from close range in the game's final seconds. Gspurning also stopped Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit in stoppage time.

Vancouver's Brad Knighton had three saves for his first shutout of the season. His most important stop came in the 88th minute as he dropped to block second-half substitute Steve Zakuani's shot from about 20 yards out.

Vancouver lost top scorer Darren Mattocks and midfielder John Thorrington to injuries in the first half.

The Sounders controlled most of the early play. Osvaldo Alonso fired just wide of the net in the 12th minute, and the Sounders almost scored off a quick counter-attack following a Vancouver corner kick three minutes later.

Knighton had to stop Fred Montero from about 30 yards out in the 28th minute.

Seattle had a dangerous chance early in the second half when Eddie Johnson fired a shot from six yards in the 55th minute that was kicked out by Knighton.


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