Alex Caskey Andy Rose

Dynamic Duo Give Sounders the Lead

12:43 AMAleks Vee

Landon Donovan controls the ball. Photo: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE. 

Two equally matched teams came on the pitch, led by two of the best managers. There was no doubt this game would be full of excitement, regardless of the score. At the start of the match, the crowd of 60,000 at CenturyLink Field held a moment of silence for 22-year-old Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso, who passed away earlier today. The first half was pretty even, although LA had the initiative, and the Sounders' attacks were mostly counters. The Galaxy had the first attempt on the 3rd minute, when Donovan played the ball for Keane, whose shot earned a corner for LA, yet no one took Beckham's delivery. Eddie Johnson, whose prowess is evident in both his goal-scoring and his assisting abilities, got the early goal for Seattle on the 6th minute. Gonzalez provided a great cross into the box, and Johnson was there to head it in. LA could have had the equalizer from Robbie Keane, but Gspurning was there to block it at the bottom right corner. The Sounders fired back, and the Galaxy responded with Juninho's attempt from outside the box, which went wide of the net. At this point, LA led 4-3 in shots. A free kick by Fredy Montero was caught by Gspurning, and his next attempt went wide. Eddie Johnson was brought down, resulting in a free kick and the booking of DeLaGarza. Montero took the shot, which ricocheted off the wall and went high. The preceding corner was headed away. David Beckham provided a nice cross to Landon Donovan, who got the ball to Robbie Keane. The Irishman played it sloppily, but earned a corner for his team. Rosales tackled from behind, giving away another set piece to LA. Beckham's shot ricocheted to a corner, and in the end the ball was punched away by Gspurning. Seattle had a lot of counters, but LA retained the initiative throughout. Franklin didn't play wide enough and didn't get the pass he needed in time to make the cross from the right flank, and the Galaxy finished the first half 0:1.
The Sounders kept finding space, and Fredy Montero's great finish earned them their second goal of the match. A great combination featuring Eddie Johnson fed the ball to Montero, whose shot nested in the upper right corner of the net. Saunders appeared to make the save, but the ball continued its trajectory into the net. Johnson's presence helped Montero once again (the latter scored five goals with EJ in the lineup, and zero without). Bruce Arena subbed in Magee for Franklin in an attempt to strengthen the attack, but to no avail. Seattle continued the raid with Montero hitting the ball high. Eddie Johnson made yet another great run but Saunders saved the ball. What happened next can only be described as impeccable technique. 24-year-old Alex Caskey picked up the ball on the rebound and netted it in from afar for his first-ever goal for the MLS (the rookie midfielder previously played for USL teams). The Galaxy weren't sitting this one out; Gspurning knuckled away Beckham's cross from the right flank. Sigi Schmid had DP Christian Tiffert come on for Brad Evans. The veteran German player made his MLS debut in style. Tiffert previously played for such teams like the Austrian Red Bull Salzburg and Bundesliga's VfB Stuttgart. David Beckham's free kick on the 64th minute brought a lot of controversy to the game. Robbie Keane, whose mood was gradually worsening in the second half, nearly lost it when LA should have been given a penalty kick after A.J. DeLaGarza was taken down by Patrick Ianni. A minor fight broke out involving several players, including Johnson and Donovan. EJ grabbed Landon's jersey, but was prevented from doing anything else by his teammates. The Galaxy went forward, but Seattle was hot on their heels. Beckham passed to Magee, whose shot went over the net. It was no use for the Galaxy; the home team was much sharper and faster on the attack, and had technically advanced counters to match nearly every moment produced by the guests. Donovan's chance to brighten things up for LA resulted in a header that went wide of the net. LA's defense thwarted an attempt by Seattle, and Johnson's shot went wide of the Galaxy's open net. Donovan finally got a shot on goal, but it was knocked away by Gspurning. Keane still couldn't get into the game; none of his plays were anywhere near productive. Andy Rose, who came on earlier for Fredy Montero, took Gonzalez's cross from the left flank and hit the ball low, a simple finish for his first MLS career goal and a great end to the match. The goal-thirsty Sounders weren't finished, and took the last two minutes of the match as an opportunity to show off to the masses of loyal fans. Eddie Johnson found enormous space on the right for the umpteenth time and made a cross, but Saunders got the ball away before a teammate could finish the job. Seattle's free kick in added time went wide of the left side of the net, sparing the Galaxy from any more goals. It would be unfair to say the guests deserved to lose. Bruce Arena's team went on the attack from start to finish. Conceding early and not having enough spice up front are LA's achilles' heels. Keane's performance today was subpar; he should have been subbed off at some point. The Galaxy need to mix things up; Donovan spends most of his time in the middle, so he can't always be counted on to make the runs. Arena should find players that work well on the flanks to create those moments for Beckham and Donovan in order for the Galaxy to find their way back to the top. Meanwhile, the Sounders continue their 6-game unbeaten streak.
[MLS] Game of the Week
Stadium: CenturyLink Field
Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy - 4:0 (1:0)
Goals:
Eddie Johnson (6') Assist: Rosales, Alonso
Fredy Montero (52')
Alex Caskey (61')
Andy Rose (88') Assist: Burch, Rosales

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