The Seattle Sounders lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 in a kiss-you-sister affair Sunday night in Carson, California. Seattle would’ve preferred a result or at least a road goal, but L.A. must be disappointed having only scored once.
The Sounders didn’t look great, as they were under siege for the majority of the afternoon. Without midfielder Ozzie Alonso, el Corazon de los Sounders, Seattle ceded the midfield repeatedly. L.A.’s middlemen, Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho, took advantage and triggered a ceaseless attack. The Galaxy registered 20 shots and 60% possession. It seemed every time a Galaxian started charging with the ball at his feet, Seattle’s defense retreated. No one challenged L.A. in the middle third. It got so bad it seemed our centerback’s asses were in Stefan Frei’s lap. L.A.’s backline set up shop at the midfield stripe, while ours did so on Frei’s line. At one point Omar Gonzales dispossessed Obafemi Martins at midfield. That was the major difference in the game: L.A. attacked, we defended.
Despite constant pressure, L.A. could only mount a lackluster attack. Most of their twenty shots were errant at best. We took exactly half as many shots and yet equaled L.A. for shots on frame (at three). Even L.A.’s lone goal needed a freaky deflection off centerback Chad Marshall to beat Frei. L.A. had the clear advantage, at home with a first-choice lineup, and they cold only muster a single goal and three shots on target.
If you had told me before this weekend that Ozzie wouldn’t be back, that goal-dangerous Lamar Neagle (warm wishes and prayers to him and his) would be an unexpected scratch and that Michael Azira, Andy Rose and Chad Barrett would see significant minutes, I’d have been scared stiff. But even with this lineup we still practically shut the Galaxy down. Only losing 1-0 to L.A. in L.A. is not a bad result.
I would have loved a road goal. Having one in our pocket would’ve been a victory for us, even with a loss of equal margin. Keeping the Galaxy from scoring a costly goal will be difficult, but I believe the Sounders can do this and win 2-0 or 3-1 at home.
The suburbs of Los Angeles played prelude to the match we’ve been waiting all season for. Next Sunday in downtown Seattle, the stage is set for the exciting final act.