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Sounders vs. LA Galaxy, recap: Better play, frustrating result

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Nicolas Lodeiro’s debut goes well, except for dropping a pair of points.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Comparing it to last week’s debacle, the Seattle Sounders took a step forward. But by basically any other metric, Sunday’s 1-1 tie to the LA Galaxy — in which they dominated play, possession and chances only to see a late mistake cost them two points — was an ultimately deflating result.

Led by energetic play from newly acquired Nicolas Lodeiro, the Sounders were the better team in both halves and looked to have victory in hand after Cristian Roldan gave them a lead on a 49th minute blast from outside the box. From there, the Sounders stayed on the front foot, generating several golden chances.

The best came after Lodeiro put Jordan Morris behind the defense. Morris was able to round the goalkeeper and had an open look at goal, as well as an open Clint Dempsey sitting on the doorstep. But Morris took a beat too long and Jelle Van Damme was able to make a spectacular sliding stop of the point-blank attempt.

Lodeiro also had a glorious look of his own — an open look from inside the penalty area — but shot it just wide.

But just when it looked like the Sounders were playing the kind of soccer we had hoped they would all season, disaster struck. A seemingly innocuous ball was put into the box. But there seemed to be a miscommunication between Brad Evans and Stefan Frei. Evans boxed out an attacker, while Frei seemed to be expected him to play it. That allowed Sebastian Lletget to coast in and tap the ball into the net. Tyrone Mears probably deserves a share of the blame as well, as he allowed Lletget to be unmarked in the first place.

The Sounders were able to get back onto the front foot, though, and started creating chances again. Their best came when Lodeiro was able to slide in unmarked at the far post, but could only hit side-netting.

The final tally left the Sounders with a 18-10 shots advantage, 56 percent of possession and a crisp 87 percent completion rate. In the end, though, the result wasn’t nearly enough for a team that needed a win as badly as they ever have.