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Galaxy open 2011 with 1-0 win vs. Sounders

LASeattle (Reuters)

The Los Angeles Galaxy went into Tuesday night's MLS season opener against Seattle missing three key starters, but that didn't stop the defending Supporters Shield holders from getting off to a winning start.

Brazilian midfielder Juninho blasted the lone goal of the night from long distance to give the Galaxy a 1-0 victory against the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday night at Qwest Field.

Goalkeeper Josh Saunders, starting in place of injured regular Donovan Ricketts, recorded the clean sheet with a plethora of clutch stops, as well as with some help from some awful Sounders finishing.

Los Angeles played without Ricketts, injured centerback Omar Gonzalez and forward Juan Pablo Angel (illness), but the Galaxy still frustrated and neutralized a Sounders side that created chances, but didn't do enough with its opportunities.

Sounders winger Steve Zakuani was Seattle's biggest bright spot, setting up teammates on a number of occasions, but misses by O'Brian White, among others, doomed Seattle to start 2011 the way it ended 2010, with a loss to the Galaxy.

Here are the match highlights:


What did you think of the match? Impressed with the Galaxy? Wondering if Seattle has enough in its attack to be successful this year?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. there were several factors that influenced a poor showing by LA, including the weather on top of the turf (everyone struggled on both sides with passing/touch), and losing three starters right out of the gate.

    Overall the showing by LA was bleh, i’m an LA fan and i hate the defend and counter tactic we do, but at the end of the game it seemed it was the only thing we could do.

    Passing was atrocious for most of the games, and the forwards played particularly poor, none of them really created anything of note, were not a real threat to the backline, and didn’t link up at all. the only attacking influence came from the midfield, and our CM’s easily played the best outside saunders and the CB’s.

    If LA wants to win trophies, they need to play much better up top and in the attack, but like i said, a lot of factors had some play in the poor showing, not a great game to judge them on

  2. other way around, dunivant would primarily be covered by delagarza, since he has the experience playing there at LB and as a CB. hejduk is very much so a RB and will cover for franklin

  3. Frankie will cover Dunnivent primarily (I’m guessing) with AJ covering Franklin and the CBs.
    Thought AJ had a fantastic game last night in the back, the runs up the middle were a nice new wrinkle. Franklin & Dunnivent were also solid on the corners, while Leonardo punched above his weight.
    Didn’t think any of the Gals were particularly sharp. 2-3 times Landon left a pass short, lacking the touch that was so apparent. Birchall and Juninho had better than normal games and that is what won the games, but the ‘attacking’ players were weaker than expected for the Galaxy.

  4. Terrible field, but it was a fast, competitive match with fast pace. Both teams showed weakness up top that have to be addressed if they want to be in it at the end.

  5. IF Friberg is the playmaker SSFC is looking for, they are in for a long season. 1st Freddie L. & now Nkufo? Good win by LA, but nothing to get too excited about.

    The striker play was awful. How are guys like Chad Barrett, Mike Magee, and O’Brien White starting for such high-profile teams???

    And what an awful field…SSFC should be ashamed of that garbage.

  6. I was really excited for the game last night, but the game itself was kind of a let down. I’m sure part of it was due to the rustiness of the players, but goddamn QWEST is a horrible field to play on. Rain or not, that ball is always jumping up and rolling farther than it normally would.

    I’m really disappointed that the two teams we added this year also play on the plastic stuff.

    Can we make a new nickname for Cascadia? Turfadia? Plasticadia?

  7. I think Harkes was being kind when he said “It looks like Beckham has heavy legs tonight.” That was an understatement…his service on corners and free kicks was mediocre at best, and he had several giveaways early in the game. I missed the second half because the game was on pretty late where I live, so I can’t speak for that.

    As well, he would have been better served by taking some time off in the offseason and resting rather than going to Tottenham. He could have then started traing with the Galaxy 8 weeks ago and been in fine shape. I think he overdid it. It would have also shown more loyalty and commitment to the Galaxy had he started training with them…oh wait, we’re talking about Becks here.

  8. And he gave the ball away nearly every time he touched it. The only bright spot was his freekick that nearly went in.

  9. If it had been grass with as much as it rained last night and has rained all month that field would have been a disater. The field would have been trashed for the next month or two. Have you seen some of the Grass fields in the EPL, or even in Salt lake.

    Don’t get me wrong I prefer a good grass field, but a good field turf field is better than a trashed grass field.

    The turf realy only affects things when you are sending long balls.

  10. It’s crazy how much this is a game of inches.

    Right now we are talking about how disappointing of an opening it was for the Sounders. How the finishing was terrible. Hard to argue, I admit. But without changing overall play of the game, a few inches at any given moment and we would all be singing a different song.

    A couples inches and Donovan’s shot off the corner goes in, then we’re saying “the sounders just didn’t show up to play”. If Beckham gets a few more inches dip on his freekick (let’s not talk about his left footed upper decker), maybe it is 3-0, then “the Sounders were embarrassed at home once again”.

    On the other hand, a few inches either way on Junihno’s rocket and it goes wide or Keller gets his full hand on it for the save. Now we’re back at 0-0 in “an evenly matched game in which both teams got some chances, but just couldn’t finish”.

    To keep swinging the pendulum, what if Friberg’s volley has a few inches less swerve? If White was a few inches quicker on his open goal whiff of Zakuani’s first half pass? Saunders is a couple inches slower to one of Montero’s long range shots? White’s redirection of Zakuani’s 2nd half cross is a few inches to the right, off the post and in? All of a sudden it is 3-0 sounders, and gee, “the Galaxy just looked terrible tonight, Beckham had little impact, Barrett was running into his own team half the time, they have no shot at the cup!”

    Over an entire season, I tend to think all those inches will even out. So, as a sounders fan, yes I’m disappointed that we didn’t win last night, but I’m happy that we had plenty of opportunities and confident that we’ll have plenty of good days this year.

    Plus, my 7 week old son got to go to his first Sounders game last night, and miracle of miracles, he slept in a pouch on my chest the entire time, so I got to enjoy watching the game – though my wife was still worried the whole time!

  11. Agree, he looked sluggish and didn’t want to push it too hard at the beginning of the match. He got it going a little later, but still never looked fully fit to me. Respect for putting in a good performance never-the-less.

  12. Not sure if it was the field or the ball or the skill. It seemed like all the players were having routine passes pop up on them. I was so distracted by the ball bouncing up that I was trying to see if it was just certain players who were doing it repeatedly. But even the quality players like LD were having the same issue.

    It’s funny as I’ve watched a lot of EPL since the last MLS game and was really looking forward to “First Kick”. But I think even an EPL team would have had trouble making it look good in those conditions last night.

    It would be great if Seattle could put in real grass until football season starts. I know they do this for USMNT games…


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