Seattle's quest for a fifth US Open cup is over for the year. Despite working hard for two goals and holding a lead for most of the match, the Sounders were unable to stop an onslaught late on from Giovani Dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget and Gyasi Zardes. In 12 minutes the Sounders went from ahead 2-1 to behind 4-2, and Aaron Kovar was on the sideline nursing what turned out to be a fractured collarbone.
While it's understandable that Sigi Schmid is going to do anything he can to salvage a quickly disappearing chance at the MLS postseason, it's unfortunate that a clear chance at a trophy, CONCACAF Champions League play and allocation money was given up so easily and by such a thin lineup.
That said, the Sounders on the field gave themselves a great chance at a win, and poor play by the centerback pair of Zach Scott and Tony Alfaro certainly played a large part in the goals given up to LA. As Schmid and the players note, all they can do is focus on the next match in an extremely busy July.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Venue: StubHub Center Track Field
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistants: Ian Anderson, Cameron Blanchard
Fourth Official: Michael Radchuk
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees
SEA - Michael Farfan 4'
LA - Alan Gordon (Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lletget) 17'
SEA - Herculez Gomez (Dylan Remick, Michael Farfan) 58'
LA - Giovani dos Santos 77'
LA - Sebastian Lletget (Baggio Husidic, Gyasi Zardes) 85'
LA - Sebastian Lletget (Gyasi Zardes) 88'
LA - Leonardo (caution) 31'
SEA - Dylan Remick (caution) 32'
SEA - Tony Alfaro (caution) 57'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Tyler Miller; Oniel Fisher, Zach Scott - captain, Tony Alfaro, Dylan Remick; Zach Mathers, Nathan Sturgis (Brad Evans 76'), Michael Farfan; Aaron Kovar (Cristian Roldan 66'), Herculez Gomez, Oalex Anderson (Jordan Morris 82')
Substitutes: Stefan Frei, Tyrone Mears, Joevin Jones, Andy Craven
Total shots: 6 (Gomez, 2)
Shots on goal: 4 (Gomez, 2)
Fouls: 14 (Remick/Farfan, 3)
Offside: 6 (Gomez, 4)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Kovar, 2)
Saves: 2 (Miller)
LA Galaxy - Clement Diop; Rafael Garcia, Daniel Steres, Leonardo, Dave Romney; Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic, Mike Magee (Giovani dos Santos 74'), Nigel DeJong (Jeff Larentowicz 90'+1'), Emmanuel Boateng; Alan Gordon (Gyasi Zardes 74')
Substitutes not used: Dan Kennedy, A.J. DeLaGarza, Jack McBean, Jelle Van Damme
Total shots: 16 (Magee/Lletget, 4)
Shots on goal: 6 (Lletget, 3)
Fouls: 12 (4 players, 2)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Boateng, 3)
Saves: 2 (Diop, 2)
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH SIGI SCHMID
On Michael Farfan's goal:
"It was good. I thought Michael played well. He's been injured so much at the beginning of the season that we had to get him healthy and all that. He's finally healthy now and I thought he played well and all that and not just because of the goal. He played well overall."
On how he saw the rest of the match:
"Obviously we had the lead 1-0 and they came back and scored. I thought once we had the lead 2-1 it was just a matter of getting through the rest of the game. We gave up a goal - a soft goal, and from there the floodgates open. I think all of the last three goals were soft goals. But at the end for us, it wasn't good enough. It's a game we should have won. We were leading 2-1."
On how special U.S. Open Cup matches are to him:
"We put a team on the field that was capable of winning the game. We were in a position to win the game. And that's what you want in your team to be in as you prepare your team. As I said, at the end of the day, we found a way to lose it and we shouldn't have."
On the challenge of switching focus to the team's weekend matchup with Sporting Kansas City:
"We need to get points. That's not a secret. We've got to look. There're some guys tonight who played well who deserve maybe some playing time as we go against KC. It's a situation that we've got to start putting those players on the field."
On the injury to Aaron Kovar:
"My understanding is that it might be a broken collar bone. That's what they suspect."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER MICHAEL FARFAN
On his goal:
"It took a long touch and put it the only place I could put it with a little chip over him, so that's a nice way to start. But we can't finish games like that. We have to do a better job closing games."
On the formation:
"We were trying to keep the ball, make things happen in the final third, get goals and try to overwhelm them with the three guys in the middle. I think we did a good job in the first half and I think we slacked a little in the second half a made a few mistakes, but I thought we did a good job in the first half."
On if he can take away positives from playing in the match:
"Definitely. It's my first 90 minutes of the season. It's nice to get that under my belt and take it from there going forward, get into a rhythm, get into the feel of playing more minutes and hopefully I can work my way onto the rosters for the MLS games and get some minutes. I thought I did well today, and hopefully I can do a little better going forward."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER NATHAN STURGIS
On coming back to play at StubHub Center:
"It was a little weird because this locker room was actually the Chivas locker room a couple of years ago. It's a familiar place, I've played here for the LA Galaxy as well. I played comfortable coming in. I think we felt like we could get a result tonight. We did good for most of the game and sort of fell apart at the end."
On how the team is taking the loss:
"It's pretty tough, for me and a few other guys Open Cup has been the games we've got playing time, some of guys haven't been getting much playing time on the league games so losing this tournament is potential games that some of us aren't going to get now."
On turning the page and looking ahead to playing Sporting KC:
"We have to grind out a result, we've played decently here and there, we're just not getting results. I think we kind of have to take a whatever it takes attitude through this weekend and Kansas City is a tough place to play so guys have to be ready to battle. We're good enough to get the results, it's just a matter of going out there and doing it and hopefully we can start this weekend."
LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA
On if he feels like a monkey is off his back by getting to the semifinals:
"Not really, to be honest with you."
On if he needed a spark from the substitutions:
"You roll the dice sometimes. The other part you have to think of there is that you might be playing 120 minutes and you have to be careful. But obviously we injected those players in the game to get a goal. Obviously, Dos Santos did a hell of a job and Gyasi [Zardes], as well. We're fortunate."
On making it this far in the Open Cup:
"Believe me, anyone thinks that we haven't tried to [advance this far] - we haven't been able to do it, but not because it wasn't important. And it's still important. So the next game, wherever that is, will be a tough game and we'll be ready to go."
On Sebastian Lletget:
"It was good. Sebastian hasn't had a regular shift in a while, so it's good for him. He did a good job and obviously he and [Emmanuel Boateng], Baggio [Husidic] and getting [Nigel] de Jong back and some of the other guys, it's a good experience for him. Hopefully he has the confidence to help to contribute as we move on into the second half of the season."
On rallying from being down twice, both with odd goals:
"And our tying goal was an odd goal, so I think we neutralized each other with giving away some bad goals."
LA GALAXY FORWARD ALAN GORDON
On his goal:
"It was great, right spot at the right time, buried it. We needed it. Great win for the team. We move along to the semifinals."
On giving up a goal early in the game:
"Luckily, it was early in the game and we had a lot of time to make up for it so it was big to get back in the game and once we scored that we were kind of dominating, I thought, until we gave up another unfortunate goal. Credit to the team, showed a lot of character tonight coming back and coming through with a win."
On the Galaxy's history in Open Cup the last 10 years:
"We are not there [at the final] yet, we are only at the semifinals. This team is competitive, it has a lot of winners on it throughout and so I think we are going to do well. We have two more games, we're on a nice little streak and it's nice to keep it going in the Cup and looking forward to that semifinal."
On the Galaxy not advancing to a semifinal since 2006:
"Like I said, we're a tough team to beat right now so we have to keep that going and things are looking good for us."
On Alan Gordon being the only player still around from 2006:
"I remember that game, we lost in the final in Chicago, and I remember that. My days are numbered; my cups are numbered, so I certainly want to win this game as do a lot of other guys on this team."
On the team needing his goal and whether he needed his goal as well:
"Yea, a goal scorer always needs a goal. That first goal is tough to get. Minutes have been scarce so getting that first goal is good for the confidence for me and both goals for Sebastian Lletget as well. As many guys on the team you get scoring goals the better."
LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER SEBASTIAN LLETGET
On Gyasi Zardes and Giovani dos Santos having an impact on the game:
"Absolutely, that's the first thing I said to myself as soon as they came in, I knew they were going to bring a lot of energy and they did fantastic, they made such a big impact right away."
On how Zardes and Dos Santos changed the pace of the game:
"I mean I think [Alan] Gordon and [Mike] Magee did a great job, but you just get tired and they just brought energy. They are smart players, you know just being clever, Gio [dos Santos] again with that goal, you know just anticipating the play and he did well to finish it and Gyasi [Zardes] just gave me the perfect ball for the assist, and it's perfect."
On coming back from behind in two different occasions:
"It's huge, that's what I thought, and that's why it was a brutal 15 minutes. It snuck up on us and it was bad to concede, but we got it back."
On playing in a different atmosphere:
"You just have to treat it the same. You have to pretend it's that place over there [Stubhub Center] and you just have to be professional."
On the team's winning streak and if he thinks Galaxy can win the Open Cup:
"Absolutely. We are now on to the semis; it's the first time we've done that. It's the first time I can win something and I'm really excited."