SEATTLE — No David Beckham. No Robbie Keane.
Not even Josh Saunders or Todd Dunivant. The Seattle Sounders were perfectly aware that the LA Galaxy team they beat 2-0 on Wednesday at CenturyLink Field was far from head coach Bruce Arena's (above) first-choice selection.
But after going two years without a MLS victory over the Galaxy, they weren’t all that concerned about the optics.
“That’s their problem,” Sounders defender Zach Scott said. “I don’t care. Look at us. We’re two-deep at every position. Any given day, somebody can start. I’m not the starting right back but I don’t think teams take offense to that. Whoever’s out there for us, we’re going to go out there and win. We don’t care what other teams do.”
HIGHLIGHTS: SEA 2, LA 0
The Sounders aren’t exactly the kind of team that is going to feel pity if their opponent is forced to juggle its lineup, either.
Scott was playing in place of Adam Johansson, who was given the day off after playing all 90 minutes on Saturday. That meant the Sounders were rolling out their third different starting backline in as many games and their fifth different defensive combination this season.
It was also the seventh different starting lineup they’ve used in as many games. Backup goalkeeper Bryan Meredith even played the second half after Michael Gspurning had to leave with a right hip injury.
Despite all that, the Sounders now sit at 5-1-1, their best start in franchise history. They also managed to register their fourth shutout of the season and scored at least two goals for the fourth time as well, with Eddie Johnson scoring in his second straight game and Fredy Montero finally breaking into the scoring column.
What made this win especially gratifying for the Sounders is that they have struggled against the Galaxy in MLS matches over the past two years. The Sounders’ last win over the Galaxy came on Aug. 15, 2009, a stretch in which they’d gone 0-5-1 and been outscored 11-1.
“It was good for us because sometimes you have a team that you call your, ‘bogey team’ – a team that sort of gives you a problem and for some reason you can’t seem to jump over them,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “LA was that team for us a little bit, but we always felt we had confidence that we could beat them and today it showed.”
As good as the win was, though, the Sounders were realistic about the kind of message it potentially sent to the Galaxy.
“I’m sure, they’ll say they’ll save it for another day.,” Sounders midfielder Brad Evans said. “We’ll just move forward. You want to play against the best players and when you don’t it’s kind of a bummer. But a win’s a win.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.