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Lagging against Galaxy

The Sounders continue to struggle in attack as they drew 0-0 at home against the LA Galaxy.

Last Updated
4 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders hosted the LA Galaxy after their two-game roadtrip with a chance to string together a couple of wins for the first time this season. They did not take advantage of that chance, as they slumped to their third 0-0 draw of the season.

Although Seattle controlled much of the play in the first half and limited the Galaxy’s ability to create dangerous moments, the home side struggled to truly challenge goalkeeper John McCarthy. Despite outshooting LA 10-3 in the opening 45 minutes and managing 25 touches in the opposition box to the visitors’ nine, they never felt especially likely to open the scoring. A mix of slow decision-making, static positioning in and around the box, poor or unfortunate touches and passes that were just off the mark meant that McCarthy only had to make a couple of routine saves as Seattle’s chances consistently went from full of potential to mundane trips down the field.

The Sounders seemed to generate a few more high-quality chances in the second half, but still couldn’t find a goal. Even on a couple of plays when an opportunity for a play on a rebound presented itself the team seemed more focused on lamenting their bad luck rather than on doing anything to change it. The one possible silver lining is that while the Galaxy created more chances in the second half, Seattle still kept them off the score sheet and were able to stop LA’s best players from coming up with clean looks even when they got on the ball inside the penalty area.

Given the fact that the Galaxy were without two of their best players and the Sounders were playing at home coming off of what should have been a motivating win, this definitely feels more like two points dropped rather than a point gained.

Key moments

3 - The Sounders create a dangerous moment in LA’s area, with Ruidiaz getting off a shot from the edge of the six-yard box that’s deflected out for a corner.

32 - Ruidíaz draws a foul at the top of the box, but Drew Fischer plays advantage allowing for a Cristian Roldan shot that doesn’t test the ‘keeper.

38 - Morris has a header from near the penalty spot after a cross from Nouhou, but it’s not hit hard and goes right to the GK.

48 - Josh Atencio nearly sets up Morris, but the defender gets a touch just ahead of him and puts the ball out.

55 - A giveaway just outside of the box from Atencio creates an opportunity for a quick counter for the Galaxy, but the resulting shot is easily caught.

62 - Ruidíaz gets a shot off from 20 yards out that forces McCarthy into a diving save to his right, but no one follows up on the rebound and it’s gathered easily.

76 - Stefan Frei comes up with a big save on a dangerous shot from Gastón Brugman from outside the box, parrying the ball out for a corner.

78 - Léo Chú gets a great look from 12 yards out after some good play by Morris and Vargas, but he blasts the shot into the stands.

90+1 - Musovski comes close to an opener, but Jalen Neal gets a touch just ahead of him at the doorstep to put it out for a corner.

Quick thoughts

A failure to thrive: Coming off of two games with mixed results but at least some promise in how the team attacked on the road, the offensive struggles today were particularly stark. The Sounders had opportunities that they should have turned into goals, but as has so often been the case they couldn’t consistently put their opponents under pressure and create real scoring chances. Despite a number of players who have a history of being able to produce at this level in the past, Seattle seem to lack repeatable good ideas in possession or the ability to execute on them. Even when transition opportunities presented themselves the Sounders either made needlessly safe or conservative choices, or failed to execute when they did try to go towards goal quickly.

A brewing youth movement: With the energy on the field stagnating, Brian Schmetzer’s substitutions injected a bit of positivity and brightened things up a bit even if they didn’t prove to be the difference. With Obed Vargas putting in yet another strong performance, Reed Baker-Whiting making his first appearance of the season, Cody Baker showing relatively well again, and 21-year-old Tacoma Defiance player Georgi Minoungou providing some excitement, there’s reason to think that Seattle’s young players could be in line for increased roles as the veterans around them continue to struggle to get the job done. That’s certainly going to be the case on Wednesday when the Sounders face Louisville City FC in the U.S. Open Cup, but don’t be surprised to see the kids continuing to get the call if they keep showing well.

Where does responsibility lie: There’s no argument that the Sounders have played well enough, or that the results have been good enough. They simply haven’t. Schmetzer will tell you that, the players will say the same. There’s plenty of blame to go around for that, as it’s the coaches’ and staff’s jobs to make sure the players are ready to go— both mentally and physically — when they take the pitch, and when they step on the field it’s up to the players to execute. They’ve fallen short on both sides of the equation more often than not. The clock is ticking on this season, but there’s still time to figure things out. If it doesn’t happen soon, though, we may find out where the front office places that responsibility.

Notable quote

Man of the match

Obed Vargas – In a game that was nearly devoid of bright spots, Vargas shown a little bit more than most. Not quite at the level of the Philadelphia Union game, Vargas was consistently positive deployed on the wing as well as when he moved back inside later in the game.