Sounders draw Galaxy in match defined by set-play magic

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rosales served the Johnson goal to put Seattle ahead and Juninho slotted in a perfect free kick to draw LA level. Seattle is now 47 straight matches without a loss when scoring first. The magic number for the Shield is only 13.

Roles switches as Seattle played a bunker and counter while LA took more of a possession basis than typical, but the run of play situation did not matter. Two set-plays defined the match. Seattle Sounders FC scored on a Mauro Rosales to Eddie Johnson corner. It was the kind of perfection you expect in those situations.

The LA Galaxy drew level after Zach Scott fouled in a dangerous area and the lesser Juninho perfectly placed a free kick. It was a large wall and that shot was beautiful.

As a match it had rare moments of entertainment. For the most part is was clunky. After a loose first half the center ref would call it tighter in the second. This lead to Seattle claiming the point with only 10 men as Scott earned a second yellow.

The importance of a road point against a side of LA's quality can not be understated. In light of the other results it also means that Sounders FC maintains its lead in the Supporters' Shield standings. They now have a magic number of 14. If they earn 13 points in the remaining 6 matches the rest of the results around MLS do not matter.

There were some issues. Andy Rose and Lamar Neagle had poor games. Obafemi Martins struggled compared to his typical play. But in a match where two USMNT players for Seattle don't start versus one for LA? A point is solid.

If Seattle does not win the Shield this year it is not because of this game, but instead because of a home draw with Portland or loss to Montreal.

There were bad moments tonight. There were good moments tonight. But the bunker worked. Seattle gets a needed road point and maintains a posture of success. The Sounders will end their regular season with a final match against LA.

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