With a host of its key performers out of the starting lineup, visiting D.C. United played Toronto FC to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night.
Playing the second of three matches over a seven-day stretch, United (7-3-3) started the match with stars Wayne Rooney, Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta and Lucas Rodriguez all on the sideline. All but Rodriguez entered the game, but D.C. seemed content to sit back and take away a road point to momentarily move atop the Eastern Conference while amid a 2-0-1 stretch.
Toronto (5-4-2), meanwhile, held a remarkable 71.3 percent of the possession for the game and recorded 20 of its season-high 35 shots (13 on target overall) during the first half en route to dropping to 0-2-1 in its last three.
TFC nearly opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, when Nick DeLeon's close-in header was blocked and partially saved by United keeper Bill Hamid, and Jordan Hamilton then hit the crossbar on the rebound.
In addition to that moment of excitement, Toronto's budding star, Alejandro Pozuelo, was quite active in a playmaking role and with some chances of his own. However, TFC had nothing to show for the effort in the first half as D.C. was fine with cramming the home side's final-third with its big names on the bench.
Rooney and Acosta entered the match in the 48th minute, but never really threatened in the final-third as D.C. finished with two shots on target. Marky Delgado, though, delivered another quality chance for Toronto in the 53rd minute, but Hamid (12 saves) was up to the task again.
Toronto played without star Jozy Altidore, who returned from a three-game absence with a hamstring injury in last weekend's loss to Philadelphia, but was downed by a reported heel issue Wednesday.
The start of this match was briefly delayed due to lightning in the area.