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Honors even as Galaxy battle Sounders to draw

Juninho; Osvaldo Alonso

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One of the most anticipated games all season provided fans with goals, end-to-end action, and plenty of heart-in-mouth moments. All it was missing was a winner.

Try as they might, and despite having a man advantage late, the Los Angeles Galaxy couldn’t find the final breakthrough the Seattle Sounders, settling for a 1-1 draw at the StubHub Center on Saturday evening. The match, which featured some of the top attacking talent in the league, was noteworthy for the talent that was missing from the game; Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) and Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) both missed out due to injury.

The Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes had the first real attempt on goal, but his curled drive was tipped over well by the Sounders’ Michael Gspurning in the 18th minute. The Sounders made their first real chance on goal count in the 25th minute, as Eddie Johnson ran free of his mark and sent a powerful header in for a goal off a Mauro Rosales corner kick.

It was Johnson’s eighth goal of the season and his third game in a row with a goal when he starts.

The Galaxy hit back just before halftime when Juninho gave those watching in the stadium and at home a moment of pure brilliance. The Brazilian midfielder stepped up to take a free kick and sent it perfectly curling over the bar and past Gspurning to tie the match in first half stoppage time.

Both sides in the second half shored up their defensive effort, keeping the ball away from the dangerous Robbie Keane and Obafemi Martins on either side. The Galaxy did have a goal disallowed in the 60th minute, but neither team were able to put another chance on target the rest of the way.

The Sounders were reduced to ten men when defender Zach Scott bundled over Galaxy substitute Laurent Courtois in the 90th minute, but the ensuing free kick taken by the Frenchman was always going over the bar.

The result keeps the Sounders atop the Western Conference with 50 points in 28 games due to Real Salt Lake’s loss on Saturday night, while the Galaxy have 45 points from 29 games and are in fourth place.

Here are the game highlights:


  1. It’s hard to fault a coach that has won as much as Arena, but he has made some pretty terrible personnel moves this season. I weep (figuratively) when I think about how good the Galaxy could be if they still had Magee and if Cudicini stayed on some bench in Europe.

    • As a Sounder’s fan, I have to watch 89 minutes of frustration with 1 minute of no one can stop him, every game. He jumps so high, is so insanely strong, unstoppable.
      Oba was feeling the same way more than once on Sunday.

  2. No love lost for either of these teams, but EJ’s header was the result of a savvy designed play by Seattle. Number 34 steps out of the human blob after EJ passes by and bear hugs Omar. They got away with it but it was way more than the normal 1 v 1 clutching and grabbing that happens all the time. When a third guy comes in on a designed play they need to call it… real tough to catch in traffic. Omar probably should have stayed away from the high human blob and picked up EJ as he emerged.

  3. Was at the match last night… Few thoughts:

    – Galaxy Supporters = Classy. Was with my two little boys, all three of us in Sounders jerseys and they were high-fived, smiled at and otherwise welcomed royally by everyone there. Not a surprise, but worth noting.

    – Great atmosphere… looking forward to the playoffs.

    – The Galaxy may look back on the Omar DP contract unfavorably.

  4. No doubt it was an excellent run from EJ – the man makes (part of) his living that way, and props to him.

    Feel like this is one of those weekends like too many in recent memory, where supporters will focus on poor officiating as the cause for results – and rightly so. Also felt like a draw was a fair result between LA and SEA – and can’t say I foresee Zyardes as a contributor on the USMNT. Galaxy fans feel free to disagree…

    • Were people even saying Zyardes should get a call up? He is clearly a great athlete but the vision and his decision making in the final third needs work. That’ll just come with him getting more matches.

      • I dunno – felt like some predicted him to be a contributor (not in the short term), but I can’t see it.. like his aggression, but can’t see it turning into anything more promising.

        Unrelated, but can we get the Galaxy fans some better songs / chants? Just sayin.

        PA: “Number 19”
        Fans : “Juninho”

      • can’t recall anyone saying Zardes was going to play for the USMNT. Gyasi played pretty well last night I thought. The loss of Magee is very evident in these games against good opponents

      • Zardes is playing left wing because: a) the Rogers trade disaster has left the Galaxy without any wide players, and b) as a forward, Zardes shooting ability has been so spectacularly poor (70 shots on goal, only three goals, and only one with his feet) that Arena had no choice but to take the Blind Donkey and move him further away from the barn.

  5. Omar asleep at the wheel two weeks in a row. Last week was the spectacular AYSO-level blunder against DCU; this week is the “oh, am I supposed to follow that #7 guy in the green shirt??” Grrrrrr. Come on Omar you’ve cost your team four points in the last two games. This is NOT how you earn your new giant paycheck.

    And I have a new nickname for Gyasi Zardes: the Blind Donkey. Strong and can kick but his inability to find the net has become a punch line.

    • So you mean that moment where Omar was held / picked by Seattle’s central defender, right? Because he really should have done much better there =/

      • Your defending Fonzo due to the pic? That happens all the time everywhere.

        The question I want to hear answered is why Gonzales picks up that mark so high..? Its U14 stuff that you pick up the center forward so high. he’s going to crash don’t get sucked into the madness. You meet his run and you cattle through anything thrown at you. He did neither.

      • Watch Omar when defending corners. He runs all over, chasing his mark. He never has a clue when the ball is delivered, or where it is going. Mark your man, but attack the ball. He should have used his body to force EJ out, as he made his run. Instead he was left marking air. The pick was really irrelevant, as Omar was never going to catch up to that play.

      • The pick was completely relevant. Omar was held. Seattle grabbed, pulled and fouled all night long. And LA was robbed.

      • Fredo,

        It happens on every dead ball above the U10 level, the good ones deal with it. There’s a reason LA bleeds points each week and it has to do with very poor fundamentals on defense…ask Bruce.

      • the biggest reason was Cudicini not owning his 6…that caused many problems. With him gone and Penedo back there a lot has changed

        ask Bruce

      • I blame the coaching really. Everyone knows EJ is the biggest threat but having Omar mark his man so far out is a mistake. You have to keep him in the middle some where he can cut off that delivery. Having Omar run around nearly out side the box is exactly what Seattle would have wanted.

    • No. Last week’s gaffe, yes.

      And Zardes is a rookie forced to play out of position because Magee was traded for Rodgers…the gift that keeps on giving. imo it’s the reason another club might win the Cup this year. Just a horrible horrible trade on so many levels


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