Scoring chances were rare and fleeting as the Houston Dynamo and Colorado Rapids played to scoreless draw on Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Goalkeepers Tim Howard of Colorado and Joe Willis of Houston recorded their fourth and third shutouts, respectively, of the season, but were seldom tested. Howard made just two saves and Willis turned away three shots in the match between the two long-time Western Conference rivals
The Dynamo posted their second draw in its past three games, while Colorado is now 0-2-1 in its past three matches.
Both goalies made superior saves in the first half to keep the match scoreless.
Willis stopped Dominique Badji's right-footed shot from the right side of the box at the top-center of the goal in the 26th minute. Then Howard had help in the 39th minute when he came off his line to deny Houston's Luis Gil at point-blank range, and defender Kortne Ford went into the goalmouth to clear the rebound.
There were few opportunities for each team in the second half, with Howard swatting away a shot by Tomas Martinez in the 61st minute and Willis corralling a dangerous attempt by Shkelzen Gashi 12 minutes later.
Houston's Mauro Manotas also had a late chance, uncorking a wicked right-footed shot from distance in the 87th minute that missed wide to his left.
Houston beat the Rapids 2-0 last month in the first meeting of the year between the two sides. Colorado holds an 11-9 edge all time against the Dynamo (with eight draws) and an 8-3 advantage at home (with four draws).
Colorado returns to the pitch on July 21 when it travels to Real Salt Lake in the latest edition of the Rocky Mountain Cup.
The Dynamo, meanwhile, will host Sporting Kansas City in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday before returning to MLS play against FC Dallas at home, also on July 21, in the first match of this year's Texas Derby.