Galaxy Robbed in Draw

Los Angeles ends up at the third spot in the Western Conference
by Jamie Pham   |   Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Galaxy of Angels – column on Los Angeles Galaxy (LA Galaxy) & the LA soccer scene.

It went down to the wire Sunday night for both teams as they tried to avoid playing an extra game in the knockout round of the MLS playoffs.

But neither the Seattle Sounders nor Los Angeles Galaxy could earn an advantage, as the teams drew 1-1.

LA manager Bruce Arena put out a lineup consisting of three rookies as the injury plague Galaxy battles on without veterans Todd Dunivant (MCL sprain), AJ DeLaGarza (recovering from a dislocated elbow), Juninho (suspended from yellow card accumulation) and Landon Donovan played even though he stated his ankle was still not at 100 percent.

Greg Cochrane started at right back for Dunivant and Robbie Rogers made his return to the starting lineup at right midfield.

Seattle dominated the game with 60 percent of the possession even though the game ended in a “draw.”

Clint Dempsey scored his first goal in Major League Soccer when he tapped in a high cross from Brad Evans that caught Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo back-peddling and tipped the ball with his fingertips causing it to get away from defender Omar Gonzalez.

This was the first goal LA had conceded in 338 minutes since their 1-0 loss to Portland back on Sept. 29.

LA answered back in the 42nd minute when Donovan curled in a corner kick and Gonzalez headed the ball into goal and started to celebrate.

For whatever reason, referee Mark Geiger and assistant referee, Greg Barkley, did not see the ball pass the line so the goal was not called and play resumed.

Replays showed the ball clearly crossed the goal line and was half way into the goal when Seattle’s Ozzie Alonso cleared it out.

“The video shows it all,” Gonzalez said after the game. “After I scored the goal, I looked at the linesman and he’s in terrible position and inside the end line when I think that he should be on the end line to make sure that the goal went in. It was clearly a yard-and-a-half in. It’s a bit disappointing that I didn’t get the goal, but the fact that we kept on playing well, and playing well, and got over it as quick as possible, shows a lot of character from us. The fact that we were able to come out in the second half and play how we did was huge for us.”

LA would equalize again in the 78th minute when MVP candidate, Robbie Keane, volleyed the ball that skipped off the Seattle turf into the back of the net.

The Galaxy played pretty well against a strong Seattle team even though they were missing Juninho in the midfield causing Marcelo Sarvas to put in extra work Michael Stephens did not have a strong showing.

His substitute, Hector Jimenez, would eventually come on in the 65th minute and provide the assist to Keane’s goal. They heavily relied on the right side of the field for most of the game with Zardes moving to the right and Rogers to the left at the start of the second half.

Seattle had a few chances to score another goal especially in the last few minutes as Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans and Lamar Neagle continually stretched the LA defense thin.

Cochrane did a very good job holding down the left side and containing Johnson, Evans and DeAndre Yedlin for most of the game.

Rogers had a good game defensively and even had a chance to score in the 1st half when he blasted the ball at goal but Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was able to barely knock it out of bounds. His presence will be severely needed on the wing if he is able to play at a high level coming back from his hamstring injuries.

“I thought Robbie held up really well physically,” said Arena. “We have to get him a little more comfortable in the attack, but I thought his game was fairly balanced. He certainly did a good job defensively. If we can get a little more out of him in the attack, it will be a positive.”

The Galaxy needed to win or draw against Seattle to avoid playing in the knockout round against the Colorado Rapids so with this draw they will play Real Salt Lake in the first round of the MLS playoffs next Sunday at home.

The Sounders will be playing the knockout game on Wednesday in Seattle with the winner having to play the Portland Timbers.

NEXT UP: November 3 – LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif., 9 p.m. EST, ESPN

Jamie PHAM

Nationality:
USA
College:
Pasadena City College
Club Domestic:
LA Galaxy
Club Foreign:
Arsenal
Former tour manager turned sports blogger, Jamie spends loads of time reviewing the Los Angeles sports scene and is a big MLS and USMNT supporter.
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