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Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy: Highlights, stats and quotes

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“What I was most happy about was they rewarded themselves for the work that they do during the week, all the training that we do. The belief in how we train, why we train.” -Brian Schmetzer

It really wasn’t the LA Galaxy’s day. They gave up three first-half goals to the Seattle Sounders and looked slow, uninterested and disjointed while doing it. Ashley Cole personified the Galaxy’s overall game, conceding an own goal while scrambling to snuff out yet another uncontested cross, and later being left choking on Jordan Morris’ dust after the Sounder blew by him.

LA’s swagger is nowhere to be seen, at least for now. Of course it’s still far too early to count them out, as they are likely only a coaching change and perhaps a player signing away from being very dangerous again. Regardless, if there’s one thing that brings a smile to a Seattle fan’s face, it’s watching a high-flying Rave Green (or “Parley Gray”) offense crush LA on the road.

The Sounders are now 2-2-3, with a +3 goal difference. That’s 9 points through seven games for a PPG of 1.29, which is good for 5th in the Western Conference.


MATCH SUMMARY

Seattle Sounders FC 3 - LA Galaxy 0

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Venue: StubHub Center

Referee: Ismail Elfath

Assistants: Corey Parker, Mike Rottersman

Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo

Attendance: 24,931

Weather: 71 degrees and Sunny

SCORING SUMMARY

SEA - Clint Dempsey (Nico Lodeiro, Joevin Jones) 29'

SEA - Ashley Cole (own goal) 35'

SEA - Jordan Morris (Clint Dempsey, Jordy Delem) 44'

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

SEA - Cristian Roldan (caution) 28'

LA - Romain Alessandrini (caution) 41'

SEA - Tony Alfaro (caution) 84'

LINEUPS & STATS

Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Jordy Delem, Gustav Svensson, Tony Alfaro, Joevin Jones; Osvaldo Alonso - captain, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey (Henry Wingo 85'), Jordan Morris (Harry Shipp 68'); Will Bruin

Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Nouhou, Zach Mathers, Alvaro Fernandez, Seyi Adekoya

Total shots: 17 (Dempsey, 8)

Shots on goal: 4 (Morris, 2)

Fouls: 10 (Roldan, 4)

Offside: 4 (4 players, 1)

Corner-kicks: 8 (Lodeiro, 8)

Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)

LA Galaxy - Brian Rowe; Nathan Smith (Bradford Jamieson IV 72'), Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme - captain, Ashley Cole (Dave Romney 84'), Joao Pedro, Jermaine Jones, Romain Alessandrini, Ema Boateng (Baggio Husidic 38'); Gyasi Zardes, Giovani dos Santos

Substitutes not used: Jon Kempin, Rafael Garcia, Jack McBean, Jose Villarreal

Total shots: 13 (Alessandrini, 4)

Shots on goal: 3 (3 players, 1)

Fouls: 18 (3 players, 3)

Offside: 0

Corner-kicks: 3 (Alessandrini, 2)

Saves: 2 (Rowe, 2)


POST-MATCH QUOTES:

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER

His overall thoughts on the team’s first-half performance:

“Well, when you talk about the first half, as a team I’m very proud of them. We came out like in Vancouver. I thought in Vancouver we had control in large parts of the game, but we didn’t reward ourselves. So tonight, what I was most happy about is that they rewarded themselves for work that they did during the week. All the training that we do, the belief in how we train and why we train…I can now point to the keys and say there’s 57 percent duals that we won, 538 total passes, 57 percent possession and we actually scored some goals. So it’s a good game for me.”

On the team’s mentality after Clint Dempsey’s opening goal:

“We were still concerned about LA because they’re a dangerous team. I didn’t want to relax, maybe that’s just human nature and you say “let’s get the next one.” But it wasn’t a conscious, “OK, what do we do now?” it was a conscious “OK, we got this first one, let’s go after the second one.””

On the team’s decision to attack heavy on the left side:

“Well we wanted to be a little more dangerous. I think Will Bruin had earned some minutes last year in the playoffs and he used Jordan [Morris] out there and it was very effective. So we decided to take advantage of that.”

On Seattle’s ability to finish in the final third on Sunday:

“When you have quality players like Clint Dempsey with a goal and an assist, Lodeiro with the perfect assist on Clint’s first goal, Joevin Jones, Jordan Morris…when you have players that are very good, you have the chance to come away with performances like this. So again, I’m just proud of the team. I’m proud of Stefan Frei doing his part. We start our possessions from the back so all around it was a good team performance.”

On the performance of Joevin Jones:

“Joevin is one of the best 1-v-1 defenders in this league. I’ll let you guys be the judge of his execution.

On if Clint Dempsey is getting back into form:

“Absolutely. I was really hoping for that chance he had in the second half. He had some half chances, he’s played well with the national team. Yes, he’s absolutely back and we’re pleased to have him back.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC FORWARD WILL BRUIN

On the battle up front with Jelle Van Damme and Daniel Steres:

“Those are some big boys up there. I just wanted to take some pressure off our creative attacking guys and let them do their things underneath and I think we did a good job of that.”

On getting the start and putting in a good team offensive performance on the road in LA:

“We should have scored at the end. I think that was a good overall team performance. We’ve been talking about playing well and getting that first goal and the first fifteen minutes we played really well. We kind of felt that goal was coming and we got three and that was what we talked about.”

On if he was surprised at how much space the midfield was allowed:

“Yeah. Anytime our midfield can get space to do their thing. That’s always good.”

On how he’s feeling:

“Good. That’s the first 90 minutes in a while, so I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow. I’ll feel it a bit.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC FORWARD JORDAN MORRIS

On Seattle’s offense:

“It was great, we kept really good possession. Kind of wore them down on a hot day and then some of the combinations in the box were really good. We know we have players to do that, we just hadn’t been clicking yet but I think today we clicked pretty well and nothing like playing on big fields like this.”

On whether he was surprised at all the space:

“Yea definitely. I think what we did is we just did a good job of keeping possession, kind of wearing them down a little bit. From there we were able to kind of find some quick combinations to open up some space and then we got in and finished some good goals.”

On the partnership with Clint Dempsey:

“It’s great. He was here last year and he unfortunately had to stop, but we’re all getting that chemistry back together. So you saw he set me up perfect on the goal and he scored his own so I think the four of us up front are still making progress but it was a good example of what we’re capable of.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER NICOLAS LODEIRO

[Translated from Spanish]

On the game:

“It was a difficult game, we both wanted to win. But with the three goals in the first half, I think it was just a matter of holding on to that lead.”

On the team’s performance:

“Very good. We played very well throughout the game. In the second half, with the three goal lead, we weren’t as good as in the first half, and you could notice the players were getting tired, and it was very hot.”

On whether they expected more out of the Galaxy:

“They have a great team, great players. The season is just starting, and of course we maybe expected more. The important here is that we scored early in the game and we didn’t settle with a 1-0, we went looking for more.”

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH CURT ONALFO

His thoughts on the performance:

“Dismal, terrible first half. Better second half but not good enough.”

On substituting Emmanuel Boateng out of the game in the first half:

“Unfortunately he took the sacrifice, but we were just getting overrun and overloaded in the midfield. We were defending the entire half, so we had to make a change where we added another midfielder. It actually immediately worked, we began to gain momentum then we got scored on off the counter. If we didn’t give that goal away, I think everything would have changed.”

On the team’s lack of energy in the first half:

“I think it was more of their ability to possess the ball and move it. They had a very good attacking players with Dempsey and Lodeiro and Morris just pins you back because he’s so fast. Bruin came into the team and did a good job. They just outnumbered us, so we were basically defending the entire time. We expended a lot of energy which makes it difficult. And when we won the ball, our initial pass wasn’t good enough. We too often threw it away, and the times we did connect, we didn’t hold the ball up, so we ended up defending more. We really shot ourselves in the foot big time. I do have to say, though, that the strength of character in the second half to keep pushing….I thought that if we could have snuck a goal in the 51st minute when Giovani had a chance…momentum shifts a little bit. The guys kept fighting and pushing until the final whistle.

On Seattle’s success attacking the left side of the field:

“They just overloaded. Lodeiro has a free role and their left back gets forward really well. With Morris’ speed on that side of the field, it was a very difficult thing to deal with. We just didn’t do a good job with defending that part of the field.”

LA GALAXY DEFENDER JELLE VAN DAMME

On how the team needs to respond:

“I think everybody is disappointed. I think there is nothing much to say about it, I think we let down ourselves. I think we only played 45 minutes today. I think the first half was way too sloppy, everybody was too sloppy. We didn’t win our one-on-ones, we didn’t win our second balls. I don’t really have an explanation for it, because I felt we were ready for it.”

On what caused the result:

“I think we started well, first 10 minutes. Then they got a few corners and suddenly we dropped too much and at one point we were defending for 15 or 20 minutes and when we got out, our passing wasn’t good enough to hold the ball. Then you’re constantly under pressure, so I think we didn’t get out first half because the game was too sloppy going both ways. It’s a good team and they played out the game well, in the first half, and they were very efficient.”

On whether it was execution or planning:

“I think it’s about the execution. We can only blame ourselves. We had too many bad passes, we didn’t win any second balls, any 1v1s, so we can only blame ourselves, that’s it.”

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER ROMAIN ALESSANDRINI

On how the team has to respond after today’s loss:

“It’s the worst game of the LA Galaxy. The first half was very bad, and Seattle played good. In the second half we tried to give everything to score a goal and come back, but it was a bad afternoon for the LA Galaxy but we need to give more next week.”

On whether Seattle outfought the Galaxy in the first half:

“I think we lacked aggression, that’s why we took three goals in the first half and we have no excuse. It was very bad.”

On what the Galaxy has to work on:

“We have to give more. We have to give more energy, be more aggressive. In the first half we made a lot of mistakes. I don’t understand because I think everybody is focused on winning, and we have to play together, we have to be compact. It’s a bad start for us, but the season is very long so we have to speak, we have to work hard and I hope, we have to win the next two games at home.”

On what he means about the team having to speak more:

“I can’t explain what has happened this afternoon. It’s a bad thing for everybody for the coaches, the staff and the players. It’s the beginning. I need to speak with my teammates, I need to speak with the coach and we need to be together. It’s the most important.”

LA GALAXY GOALKEEPER BRIAN ROWE

On if Seattle’s pressure and energy was too much for the Galaxy to handle:

“I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that. We just weren’t on the same page out there. We weren’t able to keep possession of the ball or able to move it. What they did to us in the first half was what we’re usually able to do to other teams. That’s kind of our game plan to keep possession, make teams chase and tire them out on a big field. But we were defending the entire first half.”

On if Seattle succeeded because they won the tactical battle:

“It wasn’t the day for us in the first half I would say. We made them look good. It’s one that, in the first half, they dominated.”

On why they were on the wrong page:

“We were just off for today. I think all around the field there were - I can raise my hand and I’m sure other guys will - just little passes here or there defensively just losing the ball in a bad spot and shape wise we were getting countered…just little things that add up to us having to run back and defend for long stretches.”