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Keane equalizer earns Galaxy draw with Sounders


Photo by Jane Gershovich/Soccer by Ives


SEATTLE – Just call him the Sounder slayer. Robbie Keane came into Sunday night’s match with six goals in his last seven games against the Seattle Sounders.

Make that seven goals in his last eight games.

With his team trailing 1-0 in the 78th minute in front of 66,216 at CenturyLink Field, Keane slapped a volley off the FieldTurf and past a helpless Michael Gspurning for an equalizer that held up for a 1-1 draw.

“It’s always dangerous,” said Keane, “when a team goes 1-0 up, and when you’re playing against the Galaxy, we know we’re quite capable of scoring at any time and that was the case.”

Seattle earned itself a corner in the waning moments of stoppage time, but shots by Djimi Traore and Andy Rose found only Galaxy defenders.

Coming in the last match of the 2013 MLS regular season, the goal cemented the Galaxy as the third seed in the Western Conference and allowed it to bypass the midweek play-in round.

The Galaxy (15-11-8, 53 points) will play Real Salt Lake in the conference semifinals next weekend, while the Sounders (15-12-7, 52 points) host the Colorado Rapids in Wednesday’s wild card match.

The goal will perhaps partially mute the level of controversy surrounding a disallowed first-half Galaxy equalizer.

On a 41st minute corner kick, Omar Gonzalez slipped along the far side of Seattle’s defense and found himself unmarked near the back post. While replays showed his header easily crossed the goal line, the assistant referee ruled Osvaldo Alonso cleared the shot in time.

“I saw it very clearly,” said Landon Donovan. “I saw it as clearly as the linesman so for me it was a no-brainer. I was looking right across waiting for him to put his flag up and signal goal but for whatever reason he didn’t.”

“Maybe luck is turning for us a little bit,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid.

Clint Dempsey opened the scoring with his first goal as a Sounder in the 30th minute, finding open space at the far post and smartly deflecting a Lamar Neagle cross back into the goal.

“It’s always good to score,” said Dempsey. “You don’t want to have a goose egg for the season. It is good to get on the score sheet and hopefully they will start coming a little easier now.”

“It was good to see Clint score,” added Schmid. “I think that was important for him. It takes a lot of pressure off of him.”

The Galaxy, two-time defending MLS Cup champions heading to the playoffs for the fifth straight season, close the season on a 2-0-2 run that saw it shut out three straight opponents before giving up Dempsey’s goal.

“We’ve had a good run since August,” Arena said. “We’ve done a good job and we’ll hopefully be healthy by the weekend when we play. We’ll be in a good position to be competitive and hopefully win the first series.”

The Sounders, on the other hand, enter the playoffs winless in their last seven matches. There are, however, some reasons for optimism.

Not only did Dempsey score his first goal since returning to MLS, the Sounders for much of the first half looked more like themselves than they have in weeks, playing with urgency and understanding.

“We can take some bright spots from it,” said Lamar Neagle. “I think definitely in the first half we had some chemistry we’ve been wanting for a few games now, so that’s a positive.”

And Michael Gpsurning, benched for two matches after the Sounders gave up nine goals over two games, looked solid in his return to the starting lineup.

“He kept things close,” said Schmid. “There were a couple of rebounds he gave up that he kept close and he did well with the goal. I don’t think there was much he could do.”

Here are the match highlights:


  1. There’s rightfully been a lot of commenting about the botched goal line call denying the Galaxy a legit goal, but take a look back to the goal Eddie Johnson scored in the first half which was whistled back for offside: Looked to me like the ball came to him from a direct back-pass from a Galaxy defender, meaning he was not offside on the play. Ref team missed it. The broadcast team briefly mentioned the possibility of it having been a back-pass, but then they went to some unrelated comments from the sideline reporter, and never came back to the Johnson disallowed goal play. I thought surely Lalas would bring it up at halftime, but it didn’t happen.
    One game, a goal wrongfully not given for each team!

  2. Jealous of the Sounders cymbals! Huh… maybe that’s what the AR was looking at when he was supposed to be looking down the goal line, kinda makes sense now.

  3. Galaxy deserved the victory, but both teams played well. Too often I hear the words heroic, brave, brilliant used in soccer, but this is one time I will use brilliant to describe a goal. Keane’s goal was brilliant. I’m sure he knew what he was doing hitting the ball down like he did to bounce it in. On regular grass it probably doesn’t bounce in like that and is maybe stopped by the GK. He brilliantly took advantage of the artificial turf. What a great goal. Only Henry’s goal against the Fire will probably top it for goal of the week.

  4. Even though the Galaxy were robbed of a goal, and even though I am a big-time Galaxy fan, I am getting sick of seeing Robbie, Landon and Bruce go into hysterics every time a call doesn’t go their way. I was really disappointed at Landon grabbing the ref and Robbie getting that cheap yellow in the wake of the call. One of these days it will cost them. Bad calls are, unfortunately, part of the game and it’s not like they haven’t gotten the benefits of a few over their long careers.

    • I am sure the Galaxy’s hysterics looked as bad on TV as it has the entire season. But this was my first chance to see them live in-stadium, and honestly it is even more pitiful in person. Keane complains about literally every single call that does not go his way.

      Landon has clearly followed Keane’s bad example, and Arena is not setting a good precedent for the team either.

      The Galaxy’s behavior is an embarrassment.

      • Coming from Flounders fans, who scream for a handball call EVERY time a shot hits an opposing defender in the box and whose team has made a habit of surrounding refs en masse during matches like they did at the end of this match and the Portland match (without suffering any suspensions or genuine consequences), this is particularly rich. The Flouders invented embarrassing complaints over calls that don’t go their way.

      • Fixed:

        Coming from every soccer fan in the history of soccer*, who scream for a handball call EVERY time a shot hits an opposing defender in the box

      • Wow, pot kettle black dude. It was the Sounders who just received their second fine for “mass confrontation” only last week. Sheesh.

    • Considering how absolutely atrocious that blown call was I can’t really blame them. That was one of the worst missed call of that type I have ever seen, and I have watched a whole lot of soccer.

      • Yes the call sucked and if the Galaxy’s hysterics been limited to that one call I wouldn’t mind, but this has been going on all season. It is getting really embarrassing.

      • Poor officiating in MLS matches is what is truly embarrassing. The Galaxy were robbed of a legit goal in the last match v. Seattle, and a fat lazy AR blew two offside calls that resulted in goals for Dallas that cost the Galaxy a tie. Now an AR missed a legitimate goal. The Galaxy would have finished the season with five more points if it wasn’t for incredibly bad calls by refs.

    • Thank you!

      I am a USMNT fan & respect Landon the player, but Lord, he is such a whiner.

      The ref should have senthim off after he touched him.

  5. MLS has bigger needs than goal line technology. Referee training and real grass fields come to mind.
    It would be stupid to spend millions dealing with a situation that happens every few years if at all.

    • A couple GoPros and a rule change is all it would take. Each team could be allowed one challenge per game. Instant replay would take all of 30 seconds and a few hundred bucks.

      • I would pay money to watch MLS referees running around with a helmet and a GoPro strapped to their heads.
        As if they don’t look stupid enough already.

  6. “Maybe luck is turning for us a little bit,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid.

    I speak MLS, so I’ll translate:”The check cleared and was deposited in the ref’s account.”

  7. That horrible missed goal is burying a talking point favorite around here of the fieldturf. Is there any other surface where Keane’s shot goes in with the way he hit it?

    • Did you see the play a few minutes early where the ball spun/rolled to, I believe Keane, and it kept spinning and spinning. My first thought was “gotta love that turf”!

      • Yup! I know the exact moment you’re talking about. The field turf was doing its best Harlem Globetrotter impression.

  8. LA clearly won that game 2-1 – Wednesday game should be in Colorado!

    Whatever you can’t keep sliding backwards once the playoffs start

  9. Goal line tech is needed. I can’t believe there might be another bungled call like the Omar Gonzales goal tonight but in brazil 2014 WC. It happened a few times in SA 2010. I hope MLS makes that step of improving the game starting with goal line technology.

    • Brazil 2014 will use GLT. As did the last Confederations Cup and Club World Cup. FIFA gets it.

      But when it comes to MLS… would you rather see your MLS club spend $1M to install it in their stadium, or on players? MLS is waiting for the cost of the technology to come down, which it will.

      • It’s not a matter of either/or. All MLS teams can afford $1 million. The reason that’s not spent on players is due to the salary cap, not budgeting.

      • If they can all afford $1M for GLT, they can afford to raise the cap by $1M. Average payroll needs to get up to about 3x where it is now for MLS teams to be able to afford to field full teams rather than a few stars surrounded by warm bodies. Once it gets to that point, GLT makes sense, but not before.

      • All MLS teams can afford $1 million? According to who, your fantasies? Three teams in the league make money. Everyone else loses money. Figure it out dude.

  10. The game-winner that wasn’t. That may have been the worst blown call I’ve ever seen in an MLS game. It wasn’t even remotely questionable. I wish I could do my job that poorly and continue to get paid.

  11. Colorado is taking out sounders 🙂 sorry but truth hurts. Sigis era is over, typical MLS game and Seattle and MLS need new coaches, new tactics, news ideas.
    Pdx vs impact for MLS cup

  12. Robbie Keane broke the MLS playoff schedule. Crazy stuff…a chance that Seattle/Portland play Saturday without a national TV broadcast.

  13. Goal line technology or replay, anyone? Hard to believe the AR would miss that call in real time given the placement of the defender far inside the goal, but it’s also hard to believe playoff seeding could have been determined by such an easy call to correct.


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