The Sounders defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 tonight. In the 40th minute, Mauro Rosales hit a cross into the box that neatly found the head of Eddie Johnson. Johnson's header was directed low and into the corner and benefitted from Bill Guadette misplaying the bounce. Early into the second half, Ozzie Alonso made a seemingly ordinary pass to Fredy Montero. As Fredy turned, the entire Galaxy team decided to mark somebody else and Fredy suddenly found himself in acres of space--even if he was still thirty-five yards from goal. But as we've seen before, if you give Montero time and space, he can produce a gem--and boy did he ever. He hit an absolute wonder strike into the top left corner. Now finding themselves up 2-0, the Sounders played the remainder of the game on cruise control.
The one troubling incident from an otherwise perfect night saw Michael Gspurning subbed out at the half with an apparent right hip injury. This is particularly concerning because this appears to be an aggravation of the injury that almost kept him out of the Chicago game. While Bryan Meredith came in and performed admirably, Gspurning has shown that he has the class to be a top tier goalkeeper in this league. Let's hope that his substitution was more precautionary in nature.
- Because I've been hard on him before, I feel the need to give him credit when he plays well. Zach Scott had a good game both defensively and distributing the ball. While we won't be confusing him with Xavi anytime soon, he maintained possession well with simple passes. If he can continue to play like this, we will have two very capable right back options.
- Eddie Johnson has shown that his speed and skill will put tremendous pressure on an opponents back line. With Montero preferring to play a bit off his strike partner, Montero should find himself with more opportunities to hit from distance. As we again saw tonight, Montero can be lethal in this role.
- Marc Burch seems to be performing well in his role as a late game substitute on the left wing. He has shown the ability to put in a good cross and brings a touch of defensive bite that we don't normally see on our left flank. As Sigi exploits Burch's new-found versatility, I'm coming to like this addition much more.
- Despite a rotating cast of characters that has seen three center backs and four fullbacks start in MLS play, the Sounders backline continues to roll along without incident. Although painful at the time, it may just be that the beating they suffered in Mexico galvanized and refocused this unit.
The Sounders next game will be a 1:30 kickoff this Saturday against the Philadelphia Union at the Xbox Pitch. Although I am starting to feel greedy, I expect the Sounders to extend their club-best start to the season and take all three points against a Union team that has struggled this season. But for tonight, I shall just celebrate three points taken. Cheers.