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Sounders vs. Galaxy Recap: The ball refuses to go into the net

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Seattle bombarded LA in the second half, outshooting the visitors 15-2

Mike Russelll

After their friendly win in midweek against West Ham United, the Sounders went all out with their starting XI in their first match against the Galaxy this season. It looked to pay off at times, but Jordan Morris and Nelson Valdez were not in their best positions and it often showed. Seattle's defense continued its painful decline as multiple players found themselves making mistakes, the worst of which led to the Galaxy's lone goal that decided their 1-0 win.

The first half looked to be pretty even at times; the Galaxy nearly went ahead very early if not for great play by Stefan Frei to stop Robbie Keane. Seattle looked great for the rest of the opening fifteen minutes, overlapping down the pitch and charging into the final third quite often. But all it took to change the game was a swift counterattack that caught Joevin Jones and Zach Scott off guard and too high up the pitch. Gyasi Zardes gave Scott the slip near the box, then made it through a Chad Marshall tackle to pass it to a mostly unmarked Keane (Jones tried to track back, but was too late), who blasted it into the net to open the scoring.

LA took advantage of a reeling Sounders team, but the home side held on well. The rest of the half was a mix of silly mistakes, poor finishing, and a penalty shout for both sides. But neither team found the net and the half finished at 1-0.

Neither team made any changes heading into the second half, but it looked as if Clint Dempsey was purposefully positioned a bit deeper to make the midfield-to-attack transition a bit easier. Morris and Valdez were notably more central, which is a stronger position for each. This tactical swap nearly paid off fairly early as Jordan Morris latched onto an excellent ball over the top and bore down on Rowe, who did everything he could to stop Morris, but the rookie was too tricky and managed to fire the ball towards goal. It looked like Morris had the goal wrapped up, but Galaxy defender AJ DeLaGarza had other ideas as he miraculously cleared the ball off the line and out for a corner.

Due to what looked like a slight injury, the Sounders replaced Valdez with Oalex Anderson about halfway through the half, where they hoped his pace might change things up top. It nearly happened, as Anderson put Mears through just outside the box, and the right back's cross nearly created problems in the box but every attempt was booted away by the defense. If anything, Anderson helped stretch the defense and open space for Morris in the middle.

The Sounders continued to knock at the door, coming very close to scoring a handful of times, but the Galaxy defense staved them off. Joevin Jones showed more of his promising wing play as he put in a handful of decent crosses from the left that his teammates failed to do much with. Clint Dempsey had the best of the bunch with a header that looped the ball towards goal, but Rowe managed to tip it over the bar. Seattle spent much of the second half in LA's final third, but just couldn't find a way to get the ball into the net.

A lot of factors went into this loss -- poor tactics in the first half, abysmal finishing, horrific luck. But the Sounders simply continued the story of their season; they couldn't find ways to win, especially when they need it most. They threw literally everything at the Galaxy goal but nothing went in for them. Seattle had 22 shots in the entire match, only 5 of which were on target. The Sounders desperately need new ideas and new players if they have any hopes of saving their season. Even when they looked their best against LA, they couldn't turn promising attacking play into goals on the scoreboard.