In a highly anticipated Western Conference rematch with the Los Angeles Galaxy that included the debut of the Sounders’ newly acquired designated player Christian Tiffert, 60,908 fans at Centurylink Field in Seattle were treated to a match that saw the Seattle Sounders cruise in a 4-0 rout.
The scoring opened early for Seattle in the 6th minute with a beautiful pass up the right side from Osvaldo Alonso to Mauro Rosales who fed a fantastic cross to Eddie Johnson, who would get behind the Galaxy defense most of the night, for a header in the left of the net past the diving Los Angeles keeper Josh Saunders. Seattle kept the pressure on and made another run up the right side in the 11th minute that went just wide.
Los Angeles appeared to have a chance to even the score in the 16th minute when A.J. DeLaGarza was taken down in the Sounders box, but no penalty was awarded. DeLaGarza received the first yellow of the match with a takedown of Eddie Johnson that appeared to only slightly nick his heel, but the Sounders were unable to capitalize on the ensuing free kick.
LA made another run at the tie in the 32nd minute with a ball to Landon Donovan directly in front of the goal that was snuffed by the Sounders. At the half, while the statistics showed the Galaxy had a slight advantage on time of possession and the same number of shots as the Sounders, seven, control of the match appeared to be with the Sounders. Under relentless pressure the Galaxy were unable to capitalize on their chances and went into the break down 1-0.
The Sounders came out in the second half firing on all cylinders and continued their scoring as Fredy Montero came through in the 52nd minute with his sixth MLS goal. Set up by a fantastic, but blocked, shot from man-of-the-match Alex Caskey, Montero put the ball in the top right of the net to go up 2-0.
Caskey’s excellent play throughout the match started in the 4th minute with a shot that was deflected and culminated in his 1st goal in MLS play in the 61st minute after a deflection. He would finish with three shots including two on goal and was replaced to cheers from the fans by Marc Burch in the 80th minute.
In the 64th minute, highly anticipated designated player Christian Tiffert made his Sounders debut substituting for Brad Evans, who shortly before had been issued the matches’ second yellow card, and made a nice run behind the Galaxy defense into the box in the 69th minute that was deflected resulting in the only Seattle corner.
Marc Burch made good use of his ten minutes of playing time including an assist to Andy Rose who substituted in for Fredy Montero in the 73rd minute and scored his first MLS goal in the 88th minute. Rose’s textbook, right-footed beauty in the center of the box found the top right corner for Seattle’s final goal of the night.
Sigi Schmid expressed his pleasure with the team’s ability to get behind the Galaxy defense all night and the solid teamwork of Johnson and Montero who fed each other throughout the match and took eight of the Sounders’ 14 total shots between them. With the upcoming Open Cup championship match against Sporting KC this Wednesday, the team hopes to ride their current six game unbeaten streak (3-0-3) to a fourth consecutive Open Championship, a never before accomplished feat.
The Sounders will get a shot at a sweep of the Galaxy this season when they visit Los Angeles in the last game of the MLS season. With potential playoff hopes on the line for both teams, the upcoming match is setup to be another epic showdown.