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Galaxy cruises past Sounders to earn place in Western Conference final



The Seattle Sounders entered the playoffs as the hottest team in MLS, but with a dominating performance on Sunday, the Los Angeles Galaxy proved that it was still the team to beat.

The Galaxy advanced to the Western Conference Final for a second year in a row after a 2-1 victory over the Sounders on Sunday night at the Home Depot Center. Edson Buddle and Omar Gonzalez scored to give the Galaxy a 3-1 aggregate in its series with the Sounders. Seattle pulled one back late in the second half off a goal by Steve Zakuani. The Galaxy will now host FC Dallas on November 14th for a berth in the MLS Cup Final.

"We played very well in the first half, but in the second half, we were a little sloppy and if we were a little smarter and sharper then we could have gotten the third goal," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "In a game of this magnitude and at this time of the year, I'm certainly pleased with [the game]. "

The Galaxy put in a great deal of pressure on a Sounders team that appeared tentative out of the gate. Los Angeles opened the scoring the 19th minute after Buddle headed in a corner kick ball by David Beckham. It was Beckham again, who provided the service on the second goal, on a free kick in the 27th minute. This time it was Gonzalez on the receiving end who was a step faster than the Sounders defense and headed the cross into the back of Kasey Keller's net.

Los Angeles got a bit of a scare late in the second half when Sounders midfielder Alvaro Fernandez caught Donovan Ricketts in the midsection. Ricketts was down for around three minutes, but the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year was able to stay in the match. The Galaxy defense was strong throughout and successful in closing off space and preventing Seattle from utilizing their wide players.

"Zakuani and Nyassi were playing well and we knew that if we took that away from their game that we would beat them," said Landon Donovan. "We heard for a week before we played them up there about how happy that they were to play us in this series and my guess is that they probably have different feelings now."

Seattle struggled throughout the match to find any rhythm on offense as Fredy Montero and Blaise N'Kufo were unable to find service for long stretches of the match. In addition to Montero and N'Kufo, the Sounders flanks were increasingly out hustled by a cagey Los Angeles defense. Seattle did not control a considerable amount of possession until Alvaro Fernandez came into the match for Nyassi at the start of the second half.

With Fernandez in the match, the Sounders were able to control more of the second half possession. The Sounders broke through in the 86th minute when Zakuani scored the Sounders first playoff goal. Zakuani broke free of the Galaxy defense and fired a shot that beat a slow-reacting Ricketts. The Sounders have now been eliminated in consecutive years in the first round of the playoffs and remain winless in post season play. For Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, it is clear that his team is still a work in progress. 

"We have to become better and become hardened, we need to play with a discipline and a craftiness that [the Galaxy] have that we don't," said Schmid. "We have to mature as a team and that would allow us to make better decisions."

The Galaxy turns its focus to FC Dallas, who they will host next week at the Home Depot Center. The clubs are quite familiar with one another having only played two weeks ago, a match that the Galaxy won 2-1. Just one win away from returning to the Cup Final, Buddle admits that the club is looking to get a victory next week to have their shot at redemption in the MLS Cup.

"Last year's experience has helped us this year," said Buddle. We've been here before and we're hungry to get to get back to the finals and finish the job and I can definitely feel that in this locker room." 


  1. Guys,

    The teams that played the last couple games in CCL used subs and reservists. Few used their primary starters with any consistency. I looked up the rosters of the last two rounds to double-check… which is why my original post was specific.

    So I’m failing to see how a midweek game with a “B” team hurts the “A” team, aside from travel fatigue IF those starters even traveled.

    Why’d these guys use their “B” teams in these last few weeks of CCL? Because they were in the playoff hunt. Those starters look to have played the same number of games in the last 1.5 months as the other non-CCL teams.

    That said, I support a schedule modification, because I’d love to see a schedule that allows our BEST teams fielded in all competitions.

  2. Geez, I hadn’t realized that MLS had gotten so big that we can bash supporters’ groups for acting like … supporters’ groups.

    I live in the L.A. area, so I’m obliged to support the local team. But really, the Sounders fans provide an interesting element to the MLS. No need to OD on the haterade.

  3. I was at the game, great atmosphere and great night for the Galaxy. The defense looked solid. Landon worked his tail off defending and the whole team followed suit. If they keep that up, and the Galaxy gets any set pieces even remotely near the area, they will continue to do well.

    I said it last night during the game and I think it’s true – Beckham is still absolute CLASS and provides better service off of free kicks than anyone in the world (perhaps ever). Well done Galaxy. Keep it up.

  4. I only just discovered the USMNT during this year’s WC, so I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Convey in the uniform. Until then, he’s my Red Bull enemy!

  5. Eh, what’re ya gonna do? They’re everywhere. There’s good back and forth banter and then there’s just retarded wankery.

    Congratulations on the win though. LA thoroughly outplayed Seattle and given their current form they’re gonna win it all. And btw, it’s crazy just how much Beckham is still top notch.

  6. Don’t be so hard on yourself. (Ha ha) The problem is there are plenty of ‘fans’ out there who actually believe this and spew it every chance they get.

  7. Wow. I’m sorry you can’t see ironic sarcastic joking for what it is. I guess that’s on me for being a coffee drinking, bandwagon jumping, plastic customer who-invented-everything, arrogant snob.

  8. “The vast majority of LA’s fans are soccer moms and 13 year old girls screamimg for Becks.”

    Exactly the kind of uninformed comment that make Sounders fans not worth listening to…

  9. Come now @CA, you can’t just dismiss a whole fan base based on the gloating and arrogant comments of the 5 LA fans on this blog. The vast majority of LA’s fans are soccer moms and 13 year old girls screamimg for Becks. And I’m sure they’re very classy. Right?

    Besides, that’s exactly the same as dismissing the whole Seattle fan base based on the arrogant and snobby comments from the 5 regular Seattle fans on this blog…


  10. Hence what I said. That wasn’t a “we want LA because they’re rubbish” statement. It was a compliment to LA and their footballing. Maybe you should have included more of the story for some context….

    “Steve Zakuani, for one, is excited at the chance to face LA. With David Beckham healthy and contributing to the Galaxy, Zakuani believes the spectacle will be exceptional when the lights come on for Sunday evening’s opening match at Qwest Field.”….

    “I wanted them from the beginning,” Zakuani said. “First of all, soccer-wise, it’s a good matchup for us and they’re a good footballing team. So are we… You can’t lose in that situation. It’s one for the fans,” added the winger. “You’re going to get 35,000-plus [fans] out to see Donovan, Beckham, [Edson] Buddle and some of our players. It’s going to be amazing playing them here and at the Home Depot Center [in the second leg].”

    And don’t forget Sigi’s quote..

    “We have a chance to go up against the Supporters’ Shield winner and, if you want to win a championship, you are going to have to beat a team like that eventually.”

    That comment is just pure arrogance and rubbish from Landy. Of course there was some revenge talk and posturing thrown in. That’s the play offs and besides, LA owned us earlier in the season and then the Sounders went on a tear through the league. They were eager to see how they matched up now. Obviously they don’t but that’s how it goes.

  11. The league cares about them because we are one of the few teams with a reasonable amount of support (along with Union, Toronto and LA). So yeah they are going to try and advertise that fact, also it was unmistakable that they could heard away from home. Also really Flounders? Are you 5 years old?

  12. And just exactly who, in your expert opinion, are the ‘classy’ fans? And don’t confuse class with attendance, snobbery, or deluded sense of entitlement. They’re not the same.

  13. No, in addition to LA, he specified “New York,” who did not benefit from grandfathering of highly paid players.

    I think he’s just another ignoramus who spins conspiracies without actually knowing anything.

  14. As a neutral fan I enjoyed the game. Congtrats to L.A and congrats to Seattle they had a solid season capped with USO CUP. They have some great fans. Its actually cool to see different groups going at it here.It just means soccer is here to stay.


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