2010 Jul 4

Sounders FC extend losing streak to three at Los Angeles Galaxy

Los Angeles Galaxy  3 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC

Home Depot Center, Carson, CA

19' LA: Edson Buddle (Landon Donovan)
48' LA: Juninho
66' SEA: Steve Zakuani (Fredy Montero)
77' LA: Own goal (James Riley)

Los Angeles: Donovan Ricketts; Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin; Michael Stephens, Juninho (Alex Cazumba 85'), Chris Birchall, Landon Donovan; Edson Buddle (Alan Gordon 62'), Tristan Bowen (Chris Klein 75'). Substitutes not used: Josh Saunders, AJ DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Jovan Kirovski.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Leo Gonzalez, Tyrone Marshall, Jeff Parke, James Riley; Steve Zakuani, Patrick Ianni, Peter Vagenas (Mike Seamon 51'), Freddie Ljungberg (Miguel Montaņo 83'); Pat Noonan (Nate Jaqua 46'), Fredy Montero. Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Nathan Sturgis, Sanna Nyassi.

Match report from Sounders FC:

On a day with fireworks ringing through the air all around the Home Depot Center, the Sounders FC were dealing with some C4 in the LA Galaxy. Coming into the game with a comfortable lead in the Western Conference standings, the Galaxy welcomed home Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle from the World Cup. And there was no greater day than Independence Day to insert them back into the lineup.

The US Soccer stars combined on a goal in the 19th minute and the Galaxy ran away with a 3-1 win over the Sounders FC, extending their lead in the West.

"We got beat by a better team, simple as that, nothing more. That is what we need to strive to do bring that energy bring that ability," Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller said. "We found a way to keep the score respectable and now we need to figure out the rest. We are not at the level we need to be at and obviously we need to improve drastically."

The Galaxy wasted no time in asserting pressure on the Sounders FC. Not long after Donovan and Buddle received rousing ovations from the 27,000 in attendance at the Home Depot Center, Michael Stephens shot across the front of the goal from ten yards out and found the back post, where the ball caromed back to Keller for the stop.

LA maintained that pressure though, earning eight first-half corner kicks. It was on a second in consecutive possessions that Donovan found Buddle for a great header at the far post to give the Galaxy the 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.

It was the 10th goal of the season for Buddle and the 10th assist for Donovan, both league-leading statistics.

That score held until halftime despite the Galaxy outshooting Seattle 12-3 going into the intermission.

"You can see even the fans were screaming and yelling every time they touched the ball," Sounders FC midfielder Steve Zakuani said. "They came out with energy, credit to them, they came out the first 45 minutes they were playing some great stuff and made some great movements. For us at half time we were 1-nil down and we actually had some good chances in the first half it could have been 1-1. As well as they played they scored one, we came out in the second half to stay in the game."

However, the Galaxy took over where they left off to start the second half. Juninho lined a 32-yard shot into the top right corner for a 2-0 lead in the 48th minute.

Then second-half substitutes Nate Jaqua and Mike Seamon triggered an offensive resurgence from the Sounders, clawing their way back into the game.

With a more offensive tact, the Sounders were pressing forward when Fredy Montero rolled a ball to Zakuani on the left side. Zakuani weaved his way around the LA defense and into the box, where he blasted his fifth goal of the season past Donovan Ricketts in the 66th minute.

Seattle looked to be gaining momentum after chopping the lead in half, then their unfortunate luck struck again.

Alan Gordon, a late insertion for Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, darted up the right side and crossed a ball for Donovan coming down the middle of the box. Trying to keep Donovan from scoring, James Riley slid down the middle of the six-yard box to defend the ball and inadvertently knocked it into the net for an own goal in the 77th minute, giving the Galaxy a 3-1 lead that would hold until the final whistle.

"LA was better than us," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "It's obviously disappointing. We have to play with energy, and I think we got overrun."

The Sounders fall to 4-8-3 (15 points, 7th in the West) on the season, while the Galaxy improve to 11-1-3 (36 points) to lead the West.

           LA   SEA
Shots:     15     9
Saves:      3     2
Corners:   11     1
Fouls:     15    12
Offsides:   1     4

82' SEA: Marshall cautioned for a tactical foul
89' LA: Cazumba cautioned for a reckless foul

Referees: Silviu Petrescu; Anthony Vasoli, Ian Anderson; Ricardo Salazar

Attendance: 27,000

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Head Coach Sigi Schmid

Opening comments: "L.A. was better than us. We were lucky to be able to go in at halftime only 1-0. I thought they outplayed in the first half fairly well. I thought our second half was better. I thought we played better in the second half, played with more energy, and obviously they started off the second half with a great goal. There were a couple instances before the goal where we could've pressured the ball and we didn't. And I think that was story of the night for us, we didn't get enough pressure onto them defensively early enough."

On the slow start: "It's obviously disappointing. You got to play with energy, and I think we got overrun. They were very active and moving a lot in midfield, and we never got tight enough to anybody. If you give a good player time and space, he'll show you how good he is. We didn't even give them anything to deal with at times, there were times when guys had 10 yards of space when they received the ball. If you got that much space as a professional you should be able to connect passes. For us, it was really our defending is what set it up. And then offensively, on the occasion where we won the ball, we were so tired from chasing and defending we didn't keep it. That meant we had to chase and defend more. In the second half we got tighter and then we created some turnovers, and then when we got the ball we were able to hold onto it because we weren't spending as much time chasing it. Then we had a couple of chances as well. We got the goal, Seamon was in with a good chance, Ljungberg was in with a good chance, then he had some chances. By then it was too little too late."

On LA's playing style: "They've been a team that's sat back a little more, but they came out very aggressive today. And I thought their midfield was very good, they were very active."

On reasons for the season's struggles: "It's a whole bunch of things. Obviously there's some injuries that affect us. I mean Patrick Ianni's best position is not central midfield. Peter Vagenas on a big field is not as effective. We're playing a rookie out there who has only been with us a month, Michael Seamon, who did well. But obviously we're missing some guys like Brad Evans and Alonso, who have a big impact for our team in the middle of midfield."

On Jaqua off the bench: "The thing with Jaqua is we don't want to have him start out here tonight and now play 60 minutes and blow himself out and be out for another three weeks. He's like in the middle of preseason, you saw some of his touches were off. We're trying to measure his time. Last time he came off the bench he played 30, this time he played 45. We'll come back, we'll see how he feels and probably play him the next game. We're trying to increase his minutes without causing a relapse. We have to be smart open that as well, because it does us no good to get him in there, get one win and lose him again for five weeks."

On Zakuani goal: It was good. Obviously we got into the game at 2-1 at that point. Then we made a mistake in the back and gave a third one up. But it was a good goal. It was a good ball by Montero through to him, and Steve finished it well."

On the play of the team's veterans: "When it's going like this, every player just needs to look at his own performance. We need to look at our performance as a staff, we need to look at our performance as a team. We win as a team. I lose. And we win as a team. It's not a case of this individual or that individual, it's a case of us as a collective playing better. We just haven't played good enough as a collective."

Freddie Ljungberg

On the continued frustration: "I thought we started too defensively. We sat back and they dominated. We weren't aggressive at all. We spoke about it before the second half. I think the last five minutes in the first half we came back and had a bit of possession and then we created a little bit. It was at least something positive, and we felt we could keep doing that in the second half. Then they scored after three minutes or something. He hits it in the top corner, so that's tough. But we started to get into the game, I left the flank and went inside so I could get the ball a little bit. To get some more possession and we play well and score. It was 10 minutes until they scored, but it looked almost like we could come back and create more chances. I had one small chance that the goalie saved, I had to toe-poke it because there was no room. When they made it 3-1 we committed too much and it was too easy. Then the game is over. They're the top team in the league, they're not going to concede after that. It sucks."

On L.A.: "They're good, no question about it. They have speed, they can move the ball, quite well. In the first half, I felt we couldn't keep up speed-wise. So yeah, give credit to them as well. You won't win games when you concede three goals, and we've done it a couple times now. Even if we start defensive we still concede three goals."

On being upset leaving the field: "I think you're never happy when you go off. I felt quite good at that time, it was the first time I started to get the ball. But that's how it is. That's how it is to be a football player."

Steve Zakuani

On your goal: "It came at a good time. That goal made them think again, they probably thought it was wrapped up. You get to 2-1 and it gives you hope. But they came back and scored, which is tough. It was old-fashioned one-two between me and Fredy, then it was just about staying calm and putting it past Ricketts. I really thought we were going to get a second goal back. Then they got a third and made it tough for us.

On the slow start: "They came out good. It happens. When you're on the road against the best team in the league, you're going to have to weather the storm. We had to. We came in at halftime, the good thing was it was only 1-0 down. It's a thing where we have to stay together as a team. Their record is like that for a reason, they're a very good team. Their stuff was very good. I thought as the half went on, especially in the last 10 minutes, we had some chances in their box and didn't capitalize. The second half was an even game, I felt. Obviously they scored a wonder-goal from the kid and the third one sealed, but the second half was even. We weren't too concerned about them coming out that fast at home, it happens."

On the Galaxy's performance: "I think when you're playing against the team who is leading the league away from home, they are at home, and they got two guys who are coming from the World Cup who are key players they are going to be pumped up. You can see even the fans were screaming and yelling every time they touched the ball. They came out with energy, credit to them. They came out the first forty-five minutes they were playing some great stuff and made some great movements. For us at halftime we were one-nil down and we actually had some good chances in the first half. It could have been one to one. As well as they played they scored one. We came out in the second half to stay in the game. I think the second half was more even, both teams attacked a bit more but the only thing that is important is that we made more mistakes than them. They took their chances and did not make as many mistakes and that was the difference."

Kasey Keller

On the game: "We got beat by a better team, simple as that, nothing more. That is what we need to strive to do, bring that energy, bring that ability. The only positive thing that we can take out of this game is that somehow we weren't down five-nil and that we didn't lose this game five-nil and that is what I am taking out of it. We found a way to keep the score respectable and now we need to figure out the rest. We are not at the level we need to be at and obviously we need to improve drastically."

Los Angeles Galaxy Quotes

Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the team's performance: "It was a good win. I thought our team played very well tonight, although we played a little bit sloppy in the second half, and maybe made it a little bit more difficult that it needed to be. It was a great effort by the team. I think our forwards, in the first half, did a great a job. Our central midfield was excellent. Defensively, we were real good, but we obviously got a little sloppy in the defensive end of the field in the second half. I think overall it was a good performance, against a team that needed to go on the road and get some points. I think we played well. We could have been a little bit better with some of our chances. We played well, but there are some warning signs there when we got a little bit sloppy during the second half, so we have to improve on that."

On Landon Donovan's health: "His injury is fatigue. It's not a hamstring. He's a little run down, and it showed tonight. If Landon was going to play his first game back from the World Cup, it was going to be in Los Angeles. If he needs some time off, we are going to give him some time off. It may be a decision we make his week. He may not be going to New England."

On Donovan's and Edson Buddle's return: "I thought they played well. Early in the game, you could see that Landon's legs were a little heavy. He hasn't quite, obviously, recovered from the games, travel, all of that. Certainly to Landon's credit, his desire to be here, to be on the field and try to make us successful. Overall, I give him high grades on his performance tonight, as I do for Edson."

On Juninho's goal: "I thought he was outstanding tonight. We've seen this over the past month. He's a very good player. He caught up to the speed of the game and the way we play in MLS. With all players, it's a transition period. I think he's done very well. You can see him begin to emerge. I think he's an outstanding player. I'm so happy for his goal. We see those goals in training. It was a fabulous goal. He had a great game tonight."

Landon Donovan

On being back with the club: "I'm tired. There was a lot of energy and emotion in the beginning of the game with the big crowd. We put a lot of energy into the first half and then got tired, but I'm really happy to be back and I'm really happy to be a part of this team again."

On why it was important for him to play tonight: "It's a Fourth of July game, it's a chance to get back here and be with my teammates and like I've said many times, it does no good to live in the past. This is what the present is now and so it's my job to be here, to play and to help this team win."

On the play of Edson Buddle: "He was great. He's right back where he left off. I know he was a little bit disappointed not to play more in South Africa but it says a lot about him that he was able to come back, put it all behind him and just get on with it."

On how the team has changed since he left in May: "We seem a little more mature and I think we're starting to pass better, we're starting to move better. The guys in midfield, Birchall, Juninho and Mikey Stephens looked great and I think we're just more confident as the season goes on."

On getting the early lead after having to chase games at the World Cup: "To have a lead? It was nice. It was just good to be back a part of a team that I'm also comfortable with. The way we started the game was really encouraging. It was fun, really fun to play in that first half and be a part of that."

On Juninho's goal: "I would say Goal of the Year candidate. Unbelievable strike. When he hit it, you're not sure where it's going, but it was an unbelievable goal. I'm happy for him. We've seen him do it in practice a lot of times so when he gets a chance in there we want him to shoot. Even if he doesn't put it there, even if he just puts it on goal, it's dangerous for the goalkeeper and it's difficult, especially with that ball, to deal with. He had a really good game otherwise and I was happy to see him get the goal."

Edson Buddle

On returning to LA: "You hear talk that people were happy we were back and, like I said, we wanted to play well and get a win at home. Being that it was a sold out crowd, you want to impress the crowd so that fans come back on nights besides the Fourth."

On scoring his 10th goal of the season: "I wanted to get a goal especially coming back. First I wanted to play well but if a goal came I would take it and I'm happy with the result."

On Bob Bradley being present at the game: "It's always good to do well in front of Bob. To get a goal, in my first game back, and for him to be in stands is a good thing."

On maintaining possession: "We had the ball for a lot of minutes in the first half, which caught me by surprise, I know that since I got back to practice they have been moving the ball very well but to actually do it in the game I was very impressed. It was a good thing to see."

On tonight's crowd: "I definitely felt that (extra excitement in the crowd). There were cheers when we came out of the tunnel and I saw signs of "welcome back", I did take notice of that."

On Juninho's goal: "It was very impressive. He struck it well and it faded right into the upper corner."


On his first career goal: "For the first goal it is very important to show the fans that I am giving my all to them because they have faith in me."

Sean Franklin

On the crowd: "Amazing. I felt it was one of our bigger crowds of the season and they were great tonight in supporting us. And I hope they enjoyed a great fireworks show."

Todd Dunivant

On the return of Buddle and Donovan: "I think that it put them on their heels a little bit more. We were getting in behind their defense and they were sitting back. The first half especially I thought we had them on their heels the entire half and that really set the tone for the entire game. That was good and you attribute that to Edson being able to hold the ball up and Landon making his runs in behind and causing all kinds of problems for them, so they bring two pretty good elements to our team."

On the play of the club's defense: "We got a little sloppy in the last 30 minutes. When it was 2-0 I thought that we took our foot off the gas a little bit and lost a little bit of concentration. We have to do better and I think that we know that. We'll correct it and move on. It was a good performance."