Los Angeles Galaxy Rain on Seattle’s Playoff Hopes With 2-1 Win

November 8, 2010

Carson, California -- Following a 1-0 LA Galaxy win in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals, the Seattle Sounders traveled to the sold-out Home Depot Center Sunday night for the second and final game of the series.

In order for Seattle to advance past the defending Western Conference Champions, they would need to either score 2 more goals than the Galaxy, or send the game into extra-time by tying the aggregate number of goals for the series.

But as the match got underway, it was the Galaxy who appeared to be the more desperate team, as they set the tone early with scoring opportunities.

In the 6th minute of play, Landon Donovan delivered a fantastic cross from about 25 yards away to Edson Buddle. Buddle headed the crossed ball down to the feet of Mike Magee who was barely stopped by the Sounders defense from shooting on goal.

In the following minutes, the Galaxy would almost score the game’s first goal with an Omar Gonzalez header from a David Beckham corner-kick. Later, in the 11th minute, Magee would put a shot on target from a Beckham cross. A clever 18th minute give-and-go play between Donovan and Eddie Lewis would put the Sounders’ defense in danger as well.

However, in the 19th minute the Galaxy would capitalize on their scoring chances when MVP candidate Edson Buddle put a Beckham corner-kick into net for a 1-0 lead and a 2-0 goal differential in the series.

Buddle beat Seattle defender Tyrone Marshall to the ball and headed in the goal from 8 yards away to Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller’s far post. The goal would be Buddle's second of the series.

Overlooked amid all the early scoring chances was the Galaxy's outstanding defense. In particular, the two leaders of the Galaxy, Donovan and Beckham, have adjusted their games in order to focus even more than normal on the defensive side of the field.

With Donovan and Beckham putting top-notch pressure on Seattle’s midfielders and wing players, the Sounders were forced to make hasty decisions with their passing. Even the quality passes to their strikers were snuffed out by the front line of the L.A. defense.

In addition to their efforts on the defensive side of the field, Donovan and Beckham still continued to be a lethal duo for the Galaxy offense, as Donovan earned a free-kick with his speed from about 28 yards away in the 27th minute of play.

Stepping up to the free-kick was David Beckham, who crossed the ball over the heads of the Seattle defensive wall and to the near-post where Gonzalez easily headed the ball into goal after beating the Sounders defense. The goal earned Beckham his second assist of the game, and essentially ended Seattle’s playoff dreams by giving the Galaxy a 3-0 series lead on aggregate.

The Sounders would valiantly fight back throughout the rest of the game as they earned a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box in the 35th minute of play. But such efforts proved largely fruitless with 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Donovan Ricketts protecting the Galaxy net.

As the half drew to an end, LA had a chance for another goal with a Beckham free-kick that missed the right-post by inches, leaving the spectators in admiration of his first half performance.

The second half would have a different tone, as the Galaxy looked to slow down the game, and the Sounders pressed the offensive attack. In the process, the Galaxy endured an injury scare to a star player.

In the 49th minute, Seattle’s Alvaro Fernandez struck the Galaxy’s Ricketts in the right knee with the studs of his cleat as Fernandez was threatening to score on goal from a lead pass. Ricketts would remain laying on the pitch for several minutes before he was able to continue.

Ricketts would later need to be at his best, as the Sounders posed concerns to the Galaxy defense in the 53rd minute with a Fredy Montero corner-kick, and again in the 54th minute with an Osvaldo Alonso corner-kick.

Not long after, Montero threatened to score in the 60th minute, but his shot was wide of the near-post. The Sounders would continue to try to get back in the game with a Steve Zakuani shot in the 67th minute that Ricketts saved, and another Montero shot in the 72nd minute.

In the 86th minute, Seattle would finally draw blood in the series when Seattle’s Nate Jaqua assisted on a goal scored by Steve Zakuani from about 8 yards away.

The goal would put the series aggregate at 3-1 in favor of L.A.

The Sounders would keep fighting to stay alive with a Fernandez corner-kick in the 90th minute, but it proved to be too little, too late.

Los Angeles would go on to defeat Seattle by a final score of 2-1.

With the semifinal series win against Seattle, the LA Galaxy advanced to the Western Conference Championship against FC Dallas on Sunday night.

Last year, the Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in a game that had two power outages during the match.

The Galaxy now will host FC Dallas at the Home Depot Center where they hope to turn out the lights on Dallas’ playoff hopes.

Post Game Notes & Comments

Following the game, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena stated that he was "proud" of his team’s performance for a majority of the game, and that Beckham’s quality of play since returning from a brutal Achilles tear has been "unbelievable."

Additionally, The Daily Sports Herald caught up with the Galaxy’s Donovan, Ricketts, Beckham, and Buddle. Donovan stated that "having home-field advantage against FC Dallas will be important."

Ricketts stated that his knee is doing "fine and that the final 20 minutes against Seattle was a tough defensive effort."

Beckham stated that "having stability in LA with players and coaches in the last couple of years has been crucial to the Galaxy’s success," and that the loss in the 2009 MLS Cup is "the motivation" for this year’s team.

Finally, Buddle stated that the experience that he and the Galaxy had in 2009 is "important to their formula for success in 2010."

By Brian Kowalski
Contributing Writer for TheDailySportsHerald.com

Photographs by Gregg Kowalksi
Contributing Photographer for TheDailySportsHerald.com


  1. Yeah, yeah, LA is doing good for now. But I know those guys are going to choke eventually. It's in their history. Donovan blew that kick in the championship last year & Beckham did the same for England's MNT in Portugal in '04. History will repeat when the pressure grows

  2. The Galaxy better enjoy having Ricketts around while they got him. Some smart Euro club is going to swipe him away one day & the broke a$$ MLS won't be able to keep him.

    The dude was great up in Seattle with all those saves.

  3. Buddle is the man. He missed the whole summer and still scored a ton of goals.


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