Final: Galaxy at Sounders

Seattle Sounders 0 Galaxy 4

The Galaxy (7-0-1, 22 points) exploded with a quartet of goals behind a career-high three assists for Landon Donovan today, handing the Sounders (2-3-3, 9 points) their heaviest ever defeat in front of a franchise record crowd of 36,273.

“Not the kind of game you want to ever repeat again,” said Seattle Coach Sigi Schmid. “It’s not time to panic but it’s time for some people to wake up and for character to step forward. When you’re down two, three or four to nothing, you have to step up. Some guys we’ve asked to step up and it hasn’t happened so changes are forthcoming. You have to play with energy. We let them control the game. We had to speed it up and no one on our side made that happen. We got hammered on the field and they should feel hammered in the locker room. They need to go inside and find their reaction and their inner core.”

Jovan Kirovski, making his first start of the season, scored the opener in the 22nd minute after Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller fluffed the save and the rout was on.

Center back Omar Gonzalez added the second after 52 minutes when he headed in a Donovan corner kick, Todd Dunivant made it 3-0 five minutes later when he headed home a Donovan free kick and Donovan himself completed the scoring in the 67th minute. Edson Buddle provided the assist on the final goal.

“Edson Buddle had a great game, I thought,” said Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena. “He doesn’t need to score goals all the time as a forward. He helps create goals and scoring opportunities. He held onto the ball well tonight. Landon [Donovan] and Edson played really well tonight by any way you evaluate performances.”

Highlights:

Notable:

*The Galaxy are now 12 points ahead of second place Chivas USA, Colorado and Houston in the Western Conference; LA are seven points ahead of the best team in the Eastern Conference.

*Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made a season-high seven saves in the game for his sixth shutout in eight games this year.

Quotable:

“We know we were the better team and we wanted to be aggressive and not let them dictate the game,” Donovan said. “They had the ball in the first half and our back line did a great job. When we had chances to score, we were ruthless.”

In addition to Kirovski, Bryan Jordan and Chris Klein made their first starts of the season, defender A.J. DeLaGarza missed the game because of back spasms, while Juninho and Alan Gordon were relegated to the bench.

Donovan again said Buddle deserves a shot at attending the U.S. camp before the World Cup roster is finalized.

Galaxy lineup: Donovan Ricketts; Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Bryan Jordan; Chris Birchall, Jovan Kirovski, Michael Stephens, Chris Klein (Tristan Bowen 63′); Landon Donovan (Clint Mathis 71′), Edson Buddle (Alex Cazumba 75′).

Next: Toronto FC at Home Depot Center Saturday.

Updated Monday:

From the Sounders press release issued Sunday night: The Seattle Sounders FC announced today that a refund for Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Galaxy will be issued to season ticket holders in the form of credit towards 2011 season tickets.

Sounders FC allowed four goals for the first time at home in club history as the Galaxy won 4-0 in front of a franchise record crowd of 36,273 on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. It was only the second time the club has allowed more than one goal at home in a league match.

“That wasn’t Sounders soccer and it was quite frankly embarrassing, humiliating and the fans don’t deserve that,” said Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer. “The refund will come in the form of a credit against next year’s season tickets. We want our fans committed for the long haul and we think this is the right thing to do for our fans.”

“As the owners of the club we reserve the right to do whatever we think we need to do to treat our fans the way they’ve treated us.”

In its inaugural season, Sounders FC capped season tickets at 22,000 and averaged 30,943 fans per match, establishing a new MLS record for highest fan average per match. This season 32,000 Sounders FC season tickets were sold at a 96 percent renewal rate with a league-high average attendance of 36,144 over five games.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Limey

    Wow, so usually when a team has Mike McGee, AJ, David Beckham and Sean Franklin out injured, people are saying things like: the injury ravaged Galaxy lose again, the Galaxy with four regulars out with injury continue to struggle. But here we are reading about the Galaxy thrashing the Sounders in Seattle 4 zip. This is crazy, no one could have seen this season coming. Unbeaten, scoring plenty of goals and only allowing two in eight games. I’m giving Arena kudos, he has a strange personality but he is a hell of a coach. This is an incredible turnaround.

    For the Seattle game you couldn’t have written a better script, the Coach puts Korovski in even though Juninioh (sp?) had a great last game, and the guy gets himself a goal and sets the tone for the game. My favorite (MVP) player Omar finally makes all that set piece header practice/ attempts pay off with a crashing goal.

    Dunivent , who for my money is the most consistent and underrated player on the team, steals in and grabs one. The Buddle who I was NOT a big fan of, works hard to recover a loose ball and then makes beautiful pass with the outside of his right foot to give Lando a goal. It was awesome.

    I understand it was one game; Lando’s going on a trip to South Africa etc. but what the hell. I think that was the best Galaxy ‘Team’ performance Ive seen in many years. To emphasize my point what about Juninho running from the subs bench, to congratulate Todd on his goal? That was the most enduring image for me; anyway you shape it that was one hell of a performance.

    Well done Los Angeles Galaxy!!!!

  • Studs Up

    This is one deep, deep, deep and versitile roster Bruce has put together. I said it last year these players know how to play for the shirt and they are continuing with that esprit de corps this year.

    I still don’t know how Bruce was able to make MINOR changes to a stable roster with the additions of Mathis, Stephens, Juninho, Leonardo and Alex. Amazing.

    Biggest adjustment of play for me is the physical nature LA is over-powering the oppostion this year. In almost every game they are committing more fouls and putting the hurt on people.

    As for this game, LA played a very smart game for a team playing it’s third game in 8 days with two in a row on the road. They contained the Sounders in the first half and waited for them to implode before they killed them off mercilessly. Special nod to Brian for taking Zakawani out of the game. It’s still very ugly to see soccer played on any kind of synthetic turf. It’s more bouncingball than football, should be banned. I hope Vancouver and Portand don’t come in with them.

    Omar’s towering header is my goal of the week, with Edson and Landon combo a close second. Edson still needs to improve his back-to-the-goal game and movement without the ball, not good enough for me.

    I agree with Limey on the Juninho celebrating the goal with Todd. A beautiful image.

    Btw Limey, Eddie and Dema are still out as well. Talk about depth.

  • Limey

    Wow studs that’s right, and Demo in particular looked so important to our succees early on! I agree that’s depth.