CARSON, CA (September 25, 2016) – Just when the LA Galaxy had a very winnable game at home to jump to 2nd in the Western Conference, the Seattle Sounders shocked the Galaxy 4-1 on Sunday afternoon. With a brace from Jordan Morris, Seattle handed the Galaxy their first league home loss in a year.
Seattle Sounders Shock LA Galaxy 4-2 Off Morris Brace
Galaxy Manager Bruce Arena again put out a different lineup from a previous game. Sebastian Lletget made another start in central midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Robbie Keane started up top with Giovani dos Santos in the No. 10 role. Baggio Husidic and Emmanuel Boateng started on his wings. Robbie Rogers start at right back.
The Sounders were once again without striker Clint Dempsey who has been out with an irregular heart beat. Román Torres and Chad Marshall started at center back. Ozzie Alonso stared in midfield. Nicolás Lodeiro start at the No. 10 role. Jordan Morris started up top. Andreas Ivanschitz was also in the midfield.
The home side got out on the front foot early. The Galaxy came out very active in the attack, dominating possession and creating a number of chances. Boateng, Dos Santos, and Keane all had chances, but their shots were directly at Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Keane made a breakthrough in the 20th minute. Dos Santos got loose out wide, drawing a few defenders in. He cut inside and found Lletget. Lletget made a run into the box with defenders focused on Dos Santos. The midfielder made a chip to the front of goal. Keane headed it in past Frei.
The Galaxy continued to get shots on target up a goal. In the 33rd minute, Keane delivered a pass that unleashed Dos Santos on a break away. He tried to chip the keeper, but Frei came out to cut down the angle and make a great save.
Seattle’s only real chances in the first half came on set pieces, but they made them count. The Sounders tied the match up in the 35th minute off an own goal corner off Jelle Van Damme.
The half ended 1-1. No substitutions nor yellow cards occurred in the first half. Head official Armando Villarreal did have a 30th minute hydration break with a 1 pm kick off local time.
The Sounders came out much more active in the second half, making the play fairly even. Morris began to settle into the game more, getting out wide and using his speed to create shots for himself. In the 62nd minute he ran into a ball in the final third and blew past Daniel Steres. The forward ran in on goal and scored with his left foot to take the lead.
With the Galaxy looking sucker punched, Arena subbed on both Landon Donovan and Steven Gerrard, who returned from injury. Despite that, the Sounders continued to push forward.
Morris and Lodero created a crazy sequence in the box in the 74th minute. It lead to a dangerous rebound right in front of goal, and Morris finished it to get a brace.
Just minutes later, Ozzie Alonso scored to make it 4-1 with a tremendous strike. The shot came off a deflection off the official, adding salt to the Galaxy wounds.
The Galaxy would get a consulation goal late on. Gerrard earned a soft foul in the box and Keane converted the PK to get his second of the game.
This was a game both teams had to win. The Galaxy wanted to cement their place for the 2nd seed in the conference. The Sounders are still fighting to just make the playoffs. On own goal and two defensive break downs led to three of the four Sounders goals. Furthermore, the Galaxy again had a bunch of chances in the first half, but could only score once.
If Dos Santos had finished that first half chip, this game could have ended 2-0 or 3-0 Galaxy. Again, there is a discontinuity in the attack between him and Keane. Key defensive mistakes are leading to goals, again. It’s unclear how Donovan and a healthy squad will rectify these issues.