Jimmy Maurer made seven saves, but FC Dallas again failed to defeat expansion Nashville SC at home, settling for a 0-0 draw on Sunday night (stream live on ESPN+ in the U.S.) in a match that kicked off after a 3-hour, 29-minute severe weather delay.
No public address audio, music or national anthem was played ahead of the game, after Dallas announced earlier in the day that players would remain inside their locker rooms for the playing of the anthem. There was a moment of silence to promote racial equality.
Four days after Nashville's 1-0 win over Dallas (1-1-2, 5 points) in both teams' first competitive matches in more than five months, Dallas arguably performed worse in the second game at its home Toyota Stadium, even if it escaped with a point.
FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez said: "Big picture is we had two games and got one point, that's not good enough. It's positive that we got zero [goals] against us.
"We did concede shots and I thought Jimmy [Maurer] was solid in goal. Credit to Nashville, that' a better team than people think. Still, we did generate and pushed at the end. We didn't create enough shots, shots on target or crosses. We need to keep working because that's not the standard.
"The weather wasn't a good factor and nor for fans today, but we need to score some goals. It's important we recognize that but we can't forget that we need to be creative as well. We are getting rhythm so this will take time and we must keep going forward."
The hosts at least created more of the chances in the first match, which was decided by a late goal from substitute David Accam. This time, Nashville was clearly the aggressor for most of the late evening contest, leading 21-12 in shot attempts and 7-1 in efforts on target.
Joe Willis needed only one save to preserve his second consecutive clean sheet for Nashville (1-2-1, 4 points), marking his first back-to-back MLS shutouts since July 7 and 14 of 2018 with Houston.
Alistair Johnston, the 11th overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, made his first MLS start for the visitors.
Dominique Badji nearly gave Nashville the lead and scored his first goal for the club in the 64th minute when he took a pass with his back to the goal, turned near the penalty spot and fired a quick, left-footed shot that struck the inside of the right post but failed to cross the goal line.
Then in the first minute of second-half stoppage time, Accam nearly became the hero again, when he spied Maurer well out of his own net. But from near midfield, his speculative shot sailed a few feet wide of an open goal.
Before half time, FC Dallas' best chance came 11 minutes in, when an unmarked Franco Jara reached the end of Paxton Pomykal's looping diagonal ball, but flashed a header from a promising position wide of the near post.
From then on, Nashville began to have the better of the chances. It was only Maurer's double save of Johnston and Randall Leal in the 32nd minute that prevented the visitors from taking the lead before the break.
Dallas keeper Maurer said: "We are needing more work; we are lacking rhythm and combinations and creativity from everyone. It's not just the attackers, it's the whole team. We aren't starting plays from the back like how we would like to. Our timing isn't right for second balls, breaking lines and using different forms of play that we are used to.
"We played much better today than what we did on Wednesday. More energy and passion, but we are still missing a bit more of timing and creativity."