Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored his team-leading 15th goal of the year and the LA Galaxy held on for a 1-1 draw against Seattle Sounders FC on Monday night at Lumen Field, earning a critical away point in their postseason pursuit.

Chicharito's 19th-minute, backheel finish after Nick DePuy flicked on Sebastian Lletget's corner kick lifted the Galaxy up to sixth in pursuit of one of seven Western Conference berths in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, ahead of Vancouver Whitecaps FC on total wins.

Vancouver, eighth-place Real Salt Lake and ninth-place LAFC all have a game in hand, but the Galaxy still control their own destiny. Vancouver and LAFC play each other Tuesday, meaning only one can pass LA. And the Galaxy would be guaranteed to pass Minnesota United FC and finish above the West playoff line if they beat the Loons at home on Decision Day.

Raul Ruidiaz scored his 17th goal of the season with a Panenka from the penalty spot shortly after halftime for the Sounders. That goal allowed Seattle to move back into sole possession of first in the West by a point over Sporting Kansas City, who have an extra game to play.

The Sounders had the better late chances. Cristian Roldan struck the near post on a volley, and Jonathan Bond got just enough of Xavier Arreaga's powerful header to push it onto the crossbar during second-half stoppage time.

Goals

  • 19' - LA - Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez | WATCH
  • 51' - SEA - Raul Ruidiaz (PK) | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The Sounders are now winless in their last five matches, but may be able to overlook Monday's underwhelming result because of what occurred in the 60th minute. That's when Jordan Morris, a finalist for the 2020 Landon Donovan MLS MVP award, made his 2021 debut following an ahead-of-schedule recovery from a torn ACL suffered on loan at Swansea City in the English League Championship last February.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If you blinked, you may have missed one of Chicharito's craftier finishes of his sophomore MLS campaign. Mexico's all-time leading international scorer showed off his instinctual nature in front of goal when he improvised a backheel to beat Stefan Frei from close range.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Chicharito. He really was everywhere for the Galaxy in addition to scoring his goal, drawing five fouls and winning half of his 19 contested duels. This wasn't a game where he'd have loads of scoring chances, but he still proved extremely valuable with his work rate for a team that needed it to escape with a point.

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