SEATTLE – Soaring temperatures near ninety degrees at game time, an anomaly for the Emerald City, did nothing to slow the pace of the Sounders as they handily defeated their bitter rivals the LA Galaxy, 4-0. The home crowd of 60,908, second largest attendance for a MLS match at Century Link Field, was treated to an impressive show by the Rave Green whose efforts further extended their unbeaten streak to nine over all competitions.
Eddie Johnson opened up the scoring in the 6’, getting inside the LA defense and sending a gorgeous header into the left corner, first glancing it off the post and just out of reach of Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders. From that moment on the Sounders took control of the tempo, controlling the game, and never looked back.
Although the Galaxy fielded a top heavy squad with Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Juninho all starting they were never able to settle into a rhythm. Their passing looked choppy and distracted and an attack was almost nonexistent. Seattle did well to keep Beckham at bay by not allowing free kick opportunities, only giving up three during the match.
Donovan and Keane were able to drop in behind the Seattle midfield on occasion, creating the Galaxy’s best chances but couldn’t get the better of the Sounders back line. Donovan went on a run to the inside the box in the 32’ but after being immediately swarmed by three green shirts, he couldn’t get the ball on his right foot to take the shot and lost the ball on the turn.
Shortly after the break Fredy Montero scored in the 52’, sending the ball past a rooted Bryan Gaul and into the hands of Saunders who punched the ball backwards and into his own net. Montero almost earned another one in the 58’ off a Mauro Rosales free kick but the ball was just narrowly spiked away by Saunders.
Midfielder Alex Caskey put another one on the board for the Sounders in the 62’ lobbing the ball from thirty yards towards an open goal and burying it in the far right corner, giving him his first MLS goal.
Seattle coach Sigi Schmid made a few changes as the half wore on, subbing Brad Evans with new arrival and designated player Christian Tiffert in the 64’. Both goal scorers were replaced, Montero in the 73’ by the youngster from UCLA, Andy Rose and Caskey in the 81’ by Marc Burch.
Rose certainly had an impact, scoring in the 89’ and sinking LA deeper underwater. The British midfielder took the Galaxy defense by surprise, sneaking in on a cross from Burch and then stuffing the ball past Saunders.
The Galaxy failed to develop any type of momentum, looking more and more stunned with every Seattle goal and the 4-0 score line accurately reflected the imbalance in possession and shots on goal. The Sounders dominated both, 56 to 43 percent on possession and 6 to 2 on shots on target. The loss ended LA’s five game unbeaten streak and leaves them in fifth place in the Western Conference.
The last month was full of changes for the Sounders including the trade of Uruguayan international Alvaro Fernandez for Tiffert, the retirement of fan favorite Roger Levesque, and the return of Steve Zakuani. After hosting a friendly against English Premier League team Chelsea and playing in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage they are now focused on defending their U.S. Open Cup title. If they can defeat Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, they would be the first team to win four back to back Open Cup championships. The team returns to MLS action on Saturday away against San Jose.