It wasn’t always pretty, but the Seattle Sounders shook off the rust after a three-week break with a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy. Seattle came into this match at the top of the Western Conference and leading the Supporters Shield race, still undefeated at 5-0-3, but Galaxy were hosting at Dignity Health Sports Park having won all four of their home games up to that point. The Galaxy took the lead 20 minutes into the match courtesy of a Sacha Kljestan penalty. The call itself was somewhat dubious as João Paulo seemed to do little more than bump Chicharito, but the decision stood and LA were out ahead.
Goals within five minutes of either side of halftime for the Sounders proved to be enough to see the visitors head home with all three points. Raúl Ruidíaz grabbed the winner when he cleaned up a mess in LA’s box, and with the goal matched Chicharito in the Golden Boot race.
The goals were big, but the defense had to play their part. Stefan Cleveland showed why the team has put their faith in him as LA pushed for an equalizer, coming up big with one save and numerous interventions to deny any real chances at his goal. The Sounders are back in action on Wednesday, June 23 at 7 PM, hosting Real Salt Lake at Lumen Field.
20’ — João Paulo is called for a foul in the box on Chicharito. Sacha Kljestan takes the penalty and puts it away to give the Galaxy the lead. 0-1
27’ — The ball pings around in the Galaxy area after a free kick and Gomez Andrade gets a shot off, but the ‘keeper gets down to keep it out.
41’ — Following some controversy over Drew Fischer incorrectly calling for a goal kick at first, João Paulo’s corner is met by Gomez Andrade, whose header blasts over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net to tie the game. 1-1
49’ — Ruidíaz cleans things up as Cristian Roldan gets a shot off in the box but it’s saved, only for RR to hit it home and give the Sounders the lead. 2-1
81’ — It ends up not mattering, as the play was blown for offside, but Chicharito gets on the end of a ball inside the penalty area and Cleveland comes up with what would have been an impressive save.
85’ — Cleveland comes up huge again as the Galaxy push for a goal and he palms the ball away from danger and to a his defender’s feet.
94’ — Jimmy Medranda nearly adds to the lead minutes after a couple flamboyant efforts, when he cuts back inside a defender from inside the box and lets a shot rip but the ‘keeper is able to get a touch and send it wide.
Shaking off the rust: Tales of the Sounders’ propensity for slow starts have been largely overblown, but regardless it’s something that follows them. The team does have a history of struggling coming out of a break, though, and they’re seemingly working to put both of those notions out of people’s minds. As part of the Shield-topping best start in history that’s seen them win six and draw three of their first nine games, they went down to Carson, CA after a three week break and they looked the better team and took home the rewards. Even without some of their stars, this team could change a lot about how people think of the Seattle Sounders.
AB Cissoko’s Debut: Abdoulaye “AB” Cissoko made his MLS and Sounders debut with his start against the Galaxy and didn’t look out of place for a moment. The 21 year-old CB signed from Tacoma Defiance was clean with his passing, and showed off some of his quality with switches and long balls in behind. He also threw in 9 recoveries, a couple blocks, and drew a few fouls that helped limit the Galaxy’s danger. Regardless of whether the 3-5-2 is here to stay, Cissoko seems like one for the future and the present.
Copa Ruidíaz: Raúl Ruidíaz being left out of Peru’s Copa America cup sure seemed like it could be good for the Sounders, but those experiences can just as likely be deflating as serve as inspiration. Cristian Roldan remarked that he thought Ruidíaz would come back hungry, and it seems like he was right. He was relatively quiet throughout much of the game, completing 11 of 14 passes with none of them really being what you’d consider forward passes, taking one shot, and making few other appearances on the stats sheet. That one shot was a goal, though, and the exact kind of messy goal that teams need to win tough games and that drives a goalscorer to a golden boot. Ruidíaz is tied with Chicharito for the league lead with seven goals at the moment, and there’s every reason to believe that he’s not slowing down.
Did you see that?!?
Yeimar “Pastor” Gomez Andrade put the fear of God into that ball.
One stat to tell the tale
8 — The Sounders took more shots from inside the box (8) than the Galaxy took total (6).
Man of the match
This poll is closed
Yeimar Gomez Andrade