SEATTLE – Fredy Montero broke out of his season-long scoring slump and Eddie Johnson continued his recent run of good form as the Seattle Sounders beat the LA Galaxy 2-0 at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday.
Even though the Sounders (5-1-1, 16 points) faced a significantly less-than-first-choice Galaxy lineup, they will surely take the points without apology.
The Sounders had not beaten the Galaxy (3-4-1, 10 points) in an MLS match in two years, a stretch of six matches. When Johnson scored the game’s first goal in the 40th minute, it marked the first time the Sounders had led LA at CenturyLink Field in 364 minutes.
Johnson, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Montreal Impact, has now scored in two straight games after failing to score a professional goal since 2010. Though his goal on Saturday was more of the opportunistic variety, there was nothing cheap about his strike against LA.
Mauro Rosales sent in a cross from the right wing and Johnson found some space between a pair of defenders, striking a snap header from the penalty spot past Galaxy goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
The real highlight of the evening belonged to Montero, though. After a rough first half in which he missed a pair of chances from about six yards out – including one from point-blank range that he hit right at a defenseless Gaudette – the Colombian broke out of his season-long scoring slump with right-footed rocket from about 35 yards out.
From that point forward, the Galaxy never really looked capable of coming back. Mike Magee came closest to getting the Galaxy on the scoreboard, but his right-footed effort in the 63rd minute went just inches wide.
That the Galaxy looked less than their best, though it didn't come as a huge surprise. Bruce Arena opted to rest a number of players for the midweek match, with David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant among those left off the travel roster.
The Sounders, meanwhile, used a lineup that was much closer to first choice, although it was their seventh different starting group in as many games. The only change from their win over the Chicago Fire was Zach Scott's start at right back, while Rosales and Johnson made expected starts on short rest.
The home side did have to make an unexpected change though, as goalkeeper Bryan Meredith logged his first MLS minutes when first-choice Michael Gspurning had to come out at halftime with a right hip injury. The two goalkeepers shared what was the Sounders’ fourth shutout of the season.
LA drop to 3-4-1 with the loss. They return to the Home Depot Center to host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
Seattle, meanwhile, improve to 5-1-1 and leapfrog Vancouver into third in the Western Conference standings. They next host Philadelphia, also on Saturday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Osvaldo Alonso||Not only was his passsing solid (picked up an assist), but he was tenacious on the defensive end, shut down the LA attack.|
|2||Mauro Rosales||Still hasn't been able to produce a full 90 minutes, but coming back into form. Provided fluidity to the Sounders attack and assisted the opener.|
|3||Fredy Montero||The stunning strike alone pretty much puts him here. It could have been his hat trick if not for two great first-half saves from Bill Gaudette.|