Categorized | Featured, MLS Match Reports

LA Galaxy Hold On To 3 Goal Lead In Seattle

Posted on 19 November 2012 by Kyle Alm

Seattle Sounders were not able to overcome the 3-0 hole they had dug for themselves in Los Angeles against the Galaxy, despite the incredible efforts of the Seattle players and the raucousness of the fans the Galaxy held on to the lead they built in their home leg.

There were a couple of lineup changes that were unexpected. Landon Donovan made the trip with his teammates but did not suit up. Mauro Rosales was left of of the 18 man roster and then added at the last minute in place of Alex Caskey.

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Eddie Johnson had great opportunities to score early in the match. One went sailing into Brougham End four minutes in, the other was incorrectly called offsides seven minutes later on a brilliant ball from Christian Tiffert on right corner of the box. Johnson would not be denied a third time as he made a physical run, brushed aside Omar Gonzalez and beat Josh Saunders in the 12th minute on ball played out of the back by Zach Scott. For the improbably Seattle comeback tonight, an early goal was practically a necessity, if nothing else for the psyche of the team to stay in the match mentally.

The Galaxy were not effective attacking early, they did not manage a shot on frame during the first half, Sounders did a good job of marking Robbie Keane and picking up Sean Franklin’s overlapping runs during the first half. Franklin had a difficult task marking Steve Zakuani, who was starting his first match since September 12 against San Jose. Having to contend with Zakuani’s speed on the defensive half may have had an impact on Franklin’s offensive performance.

There was a moment of minor controversy at the end of the first half 44th minute involving a suspected handball on Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. Mike Magee received a cross into the box from Edson Buddle and the subsequent shot hit Hurtado’s hand. The incident would later be put under a microscope for examination due to incidents later in the match.

Sounders would find a second goal 12 minutes into the second half, when Zach Scott headed a near post corner kick past Josh Saunders to bring the Sounders to within a goal of tying the aggregate score at 3 goals apiece.

Adam Johansson’s hand ball in the 67th minute remains a controversial call, and probably has something to do with Hurtado’s previous hand ball that blocked a shot that looked like it was on frame. The referee, Mark Geiger, would later explain the difference as to the unnatural position of Johansson’s arm compared to Hurtado who had his arm close to his body. Coach Sigi Schmid opined in his post-match press conference that Robbie Keane had no one to cross to in the box and stated that it was a clever play on the part of Keane to deliberately play for a hand ball. In fairness, Keane was likely playing for a corner, or a lucky deflection for goal, probably not for a penalty kick. No doubt he is certainly pleased with the result of his efforts. Johansson looked awkward and let his arms get away from his body and reacted badly after the ball hit his hand making it obvious.

Fredy Montero was able to turn a bad touch into an opportunity for simulation in the 72nd minute, clearly looking for the penalty after his touch went rolling across the endline. David Estrada came on for Montero almost immediately after that, along with an extra attacker, Mario Martinez for Adam Johansson. LA Galaxy made one sub in the 84th minute, Michael Stephens for Edson Buddle.

Estrada had a great chance at a third Sounders goal at the start of stoppage time from 6 yards out that he put directly at Josh Saunders who was able to deflect it away. It likely would not have mattered, LA Galaxy advanced and gathered in celebration while Osvaldo Alonso and Eddie Johnson were arguing with the officials after the final whistle. Osvaldo Alonso was issued his second yellow card of the night and will miss the first game of the 2013 MLS season.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. soundersASN Says:

    RT @amersocc: LA Galaxy Hold On To 3 Goal Lead In Seattle

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