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World Cup stars return as Galaxy trounce Sounders, 3-1

  Photo by David Bernal/


The World Cup stars were back for the Los Angeles Galaxy and they showed on Sunday that they haven't missed a beat.

The Galaxy flattened the Seattle Sounders in a comprehensive 3-1 victory in front of a capacity crowd at the Home Depot Center on Independence Day. Fans that came for the fireworks after the game were treated to some on the field as Edson Buddle scored in his game back and Brazilian midfielder Juninho scored off a brilliant shot from nearly 40 yards. The Sounders would add a pair of goals late in the match, one for themselves by Steve Zakuani and an own goal in what was big night for Los Angeles.  

"There was a lot of energy and emotion in the beginning of the game with the big crowd and we put a lot of energy in the first half and got tired, but I'm really happy to be back and its nice to be on this team again," said Donovan. "We seem a little bit more mature since I left and I think we're starting to pass and move better and the guys in the midfield look great and we're getting more confident as the season goes on."

Fresh off his stellar performance in the World Cup, Donovan went the full 90 minutes in the victory. The midfielder was able to earn an assist, but he appeared sluggish throughout the night suffering from fatigue after an arduous several weeks. Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admitted that Donovan may receive rest over the coming week and it is doubtful that the midfielder will travel with the team on their roadtrip this week. 

While the story may have been the return of Buddle and Donovan, the game was a coming out party for the Brazilian midfielder Juninho. Steadily gaining in confidence as the season wears on, the midfielder was all over the field beating the Sounders defense to balls and helping to create scoring opportunities for Los Angeles. He showed his confidence when he fired in a curving long range shot from beyond 30 yards easily beat a diving Kasey Keller in what may be a goal of the year candidate.  Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was vocal in his belief that the Brazilian has matured greatly since the start of the season.

"We've seen this over the last month, he's really gotten his confidence up and he's caught up to the speed of the game in MLS," said Arena. "With all players there is a transition period and he's done real well this entire year and he's beginning to emerge, I was very happy with his goal and we see goals like that all the time in training."

For the Sounders, the club has now given up nine goals in their three straight losses and will be mired in seventh place in the Western Conference just one spot above last place Chivas USA. Seattle came out of the match flat and was immediately overwhelmed by the constant pressure of the Galaxy. It was not until late in the second half when the Sounders would finally make an impression on the match. 

The Sounders were given a lifeline with the club down 2-0 when Steve Zakuani off a pass by Fredy Montero was able to beat Gregg Berhalter and pull one back. With Seattle finally showing signs of life, a match that had been a poor one would go from bad to worse in the 78th Minute. As Galaxy sub Alan Gordon delivered a slow cross from the right side that careened off of James Riley as he tries to clear the ball with a sliding effort. 

"The story of the night for us was that we didn't get enough pressure on them defensively early enough," said head coach Sigi Schmid. "You got to play with energy and I think we got over run as they were very active and moving around in midfield, we never got tight enough to anyone and if you give a good player time and space then he'll show you how good he is and we didn't give them anything to deal with at times."

The Galaxy and the Sounders will face off for a second time in four days on Wednesday in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals. Los Angeles will then travel back east to take on the struggling New England Revolution. Following their Open Cup tie, the Sounders will host FC Dallas as they look to break their three game losing streak. 


  1. No team with Pat Ianni and Peter V as their starting midfield will ever win a game and you can blame this piss poor season in Seattle on Sigi for sticking with “his” players while letting good young players go to other teams or sit on the bench.

  2. “Look, I’m not an “MLS basher.” It’s a fine league, and has done LOADS for developing soccer in the U.S., but is simply not on par with the EPL, La Liga, the Bundesliga, or Serie A, which I’d consider the top four leagues in the world.”

    And guess what, the sky is blue.

  3. Donovan is staying in LA, not sure why everyone thinks he’s gone. He loves his home and is comfortable playing with the Galaxy.

    As an LA fan, I’m happy that he’s back. He’s perfect for the MLS.

  4. Look, I’m not an “MLS basher.” It’s a fine league, and has done LOADS for developing soccer in the U.S., but is simply not on par with the EPL, La Liga, the Bundesliga, or Serie A, which I’d consider the top four leagues in the world. Donovan just simply isn’t being challenged in L.A. at the level he needs to be to continue to develop as a player. At 28, he assuredly has one more WC left in him, and I’d like for him to spend the next four years playing at the highest level.

  5. Was @ the game, and I have to compliment the Sounders Supporters group for traveling down, singing all game, and providing a great envoronment…even if us Galaxy fans had to give you a rough time.

    As for the list, the last item is the key! Seattle are good, but just can’t get thier best lineup on the field. As for the DP point…we have DP who can deliver set pieces who I’d love to see us get rid of. Galaxy play better without him.

  6. It’s tough to go from world cup play to MLS. The league has improved a ton, but has a far way to go. I have to say that LA looks very good, even toying with Seattle. Also, Freddie Ljungberg is starting to look like those miles are starting to catch up to him. This league needs a good Seattle team, so I hope they turn it around.

  7. I have argued against MLS-bashers for years, but something about watching last nights quality of play made me want to throw up in my mouth…ugh

  8. I just want to know when Donovan is leaving the Galaxy and heading back to the EPL, where he belongs. If we’re to have any chance in 2014, we simply cannot continue to have one of our marquee players continue to play in a 2nd or 3rd tier league.

    I’d like to see Donovan back at Everton, IF they can afford him. He’s a good fit there. Before the WC, I had also heard rumors of interest from both ManU and Chelsea. I worry a little about those two clubs, as Donovan would simply be another “horse in the stables.” Chelsea seemed to have more realism, as Ancelotti had reportedly voiced interest in replacing Joe Cole, who has fallen out of favor there, with Donovan.

  9. Ha I doubt very much that Jozy Altidore and Robbie Findley are close enough to complain about a post on SBI, and it’s funny how Jozy never got onto the hull afc message boards after all the talk about how useless he was.

    Anyways enough of the fun, odds on Landon staying in LA, and if he does leave who do the Galaxy replace him with? They will have an open designated player position if I am not mistaken. Also let’s hope Buddle either stays in the MLS, or if he goes to Europe he goes sooner rather then later, so he can develop into a great player and not rush onto the playing field like Eddie Johnson.

    (SBI-It’s not Altidore or Findley, just two people (or maybe one person) trying unsuccessfully to be funny.)

  10. hey jozy, develop a second touch and stop trying to chip the ball to your teammates on a one touch with your back to the goal. i cringe every time you attempt to do that.

  11. Yo man wtf. Robbie told me about what you said. Maybe if you’re such a pro you shoulda been on the plane to SA?

  12. And one more – if this is you –

    Does anyone ever tell Jozy that he plays like a boxer? He would do better to blow right by defenders rather than powerblasting thru them. I know they try to hold him up a lot but sometimes he creates the contact when he could win by going around them.

    I like his physical play & I know it gets free kicks but he would create more goals by using his speed like you do. Maybe you can call him up and tell him Sir Knox said so.

  13. True, we don’t know whether his form would have held up. But the few minutes I did see of him, he looked like the Buddle of 2010.
    And Donovan, by playing with him in LA might know him and his tendencies a little better than those he plays against in the league.

    If this is you – Robbie – I really appreciated your effort out there 100%
    and Jozy’s and everyone else. I just think Buddle should have been given more time. I feel the same about Edu.

    I am an emotionally invested fan and this run was intense.
    I think I need therapy.

  14. They lost to Salt Lake just before the WC break. It was a controversial loss though, RSL’s goal was offside yet still allowed.

  15. You don’t know that Buddle’s MLS form would transfer to the international game. I’m fast and just because Jozy hasn’t scored a goal in eons doesn’t mean Buddle would have been the right play.

  16. How could Bob not see that this is an obvious tandem? These two are all over the MLS stat page. Game winners, Goals, Assists. They play TOGETHER. I mean come on.

    That cross from Buddle was beautiful & it wasn’t the first time this season.
    The header ? The poise?

    How is it that Bob did not start him or at least sub him in more?

    Ok the past is the past.

    The game with Brazil is coming up in August. Do we see Jozy & Buddle/Davies with Findley looking on?
    This would be positive change.

  17. I don’t think Galaxy lost a match with Donovan & Buddle out.

    They have been so dominant this year that even if Donovan leaves they will still lead the conversation going into the Playoffs

  18. Yep. We suck.

    Sounders wish list for next year:
    – New CB to pair with Hurtado
    – Attacking midfielder to partner with Alonso
    – Assuming FL10 is gone, a new DP/winger who can deliver a set piece.
    – Health

    I am anxious to see if a Nkufo/Montero partnership works. If Nkufo occupies defenders, Montero might get enough space to really break out. This season is lost, but fans have to have something to look forward to.

    Galaxy look really good too. Will they still be the cup favorite if Donovan leaves?

  19. and why didnt buddle start for the USA vs Ghana? he’s clearly on fire that goal he scored could of been the one that tied it up. it might of been just about a matter of minutes.

  20. Wow, it used to be simple frustration during the first quarter of the season when Seattle looked to be better or at least match a team, but never put the ball in the net. But after the last five or six games, I have to pretty much chalk it up to the fact that the Sounders officially suck now.

    It hurts when our defensive spine of Alonso and Hurtado are out and it shows just how much we were hanging on by a thread with a pretty weak bench.

    Vagenas and Ianni are so horrible in the midfield. Parke makes too many mistakes, Marshall is too slow, Gonzales possibly made one pass from LA’s side of the pitch and Riley ruined about 4 attacks with piss poor crossing. Freddie Ljungberg is too hot and cold a player and Montero is just.., Montero. Holds the ball well, is tricky and has a good foot but rarely makes good runs..oh yeah, he falls over easy. I could go on but what is the point, just preaching to the choir here.


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