The Seattle Sounders drew the L.A. Galaxy 1-1 at home Sunday night in front of a rocking house in Sodo. It took an at-the-death set piece goal from Chad “pickle juice” Barrett to secure the home result and keep Seattle’s playoff momentum cooking.
The 2014 Sounders, those of 20 wins, the US Open Cup Championship and Supporters’ Shield, won in comebacks on the regular. This squad? Not so much. In 31 games played this season, only once has Seattle come back to get a result after allowing the first goal (a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls). Thankfully, for the first time in months, the 2015 team is looking a bit like the 2014 variety: contenders.
Seattle absolutely dominated possession (except for a shaky fifteen minute stretch late in the first half) and played smart. The Sounders were patient and rarely overextended themselves to L.A.’s counter, at one point allowing the Galaxy’s centerbacks to play catch on the backline while neither forward chased and lost position. And we played with grit. Oba was all over the field, and Ozzie was at his destroying best. All of this without an ideal eleven.
L.A. came out with their best lineup and the Sounders, as always, mustered together a roster. The backline was especially decimated, with Marshall and Fisher out and only Tyrone Mears could’ve been considered a starter. Then DP Nelson Haedo Valdez pulled his calf during warmups and the roster got worse. Neagle got the nod in the 11 and Chad Barrett in the 18.
Many heads has the hydra. Selecting Barrett was a fortuitous decision by Sigi because pickle power won the day, again. All I can say is wow. I have been on Barrett’s case in the past, but he scores big goals in big games. When healthy, we have so much big-name firepower, but so often the MLS journeymen with barely any European cred, carries the day.
The Sounders were on a 3-0-2 run and a five-game unbeaten streak that was suddenly in serious jeopardy. The draw at SKC could’ve been a tipping point back towards frustration, but Barrett saved the game. Now Seattle can continue their playoff push through two “easier” foes and get set for making noise in the postseason.