SEATTLE — In a showdown between two of the hottest teams in MLS, the drama was extinguished early. The Seattle Sounders opened the scoring in the 6th minute and all but ended it with a pair of goals 10 minutes apart early in the second half to coast to a 4-0 win over the LA Galaxy in front of 60,908 fans at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
The Sounders got goals from Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero, Alex Caskey and Andy Rose and a pair of assists from Mauro Rosales as they basically had their way with a team that came into the game riding a five-match unbeaten streak.
The Sounders opened the scoring in the sixth minute with Johnson’s 10th goal of the year, which moved him into a tie for fifth place on the MLS leaderboard. As has become the norm, Rosales was the one providing service, sending in a cross from about 30 yards that allowed Johnson to hit a glancing header that went just inside the far post.
HIGHLIGHTS: SEA vs LA
The Galaxy nearly tied it a minute later when Robbie Keane’s shot from about 20 yards went through the fingers of Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. But the ball ended up going several feet wide.
Although the Sounders nearly beat the Galaxy’s high line on several occasions, it was LA who went into halftime feeling as though they missed some good opportunities.
Their best chance came in the 31st minute when Landon Donovan was able to get free inside the Sounders penalty area. But he took one too many touches on the ball, allowing a Sounders defender to poke the ball away from behind. Although Keane was there to pick up the loose ball, his shot from about 10 yards out was blocked to defuse the scoring chance.
The Galaxy also appeared to have a good case for a penalty when A.J. DeLaGarza was taken down in the box in the 15th minute, but Patrick Ianni’s tackle was judged to have been clean.
Their finishing didn’t improve in the second half, leaving the door wide open for the hosts.
Montero was happy to oblige, doubling the Sounders’ lead in the 51st minute with a side-footed volley off a rebound from Caskey’s shot.
Caskey then got one of his own when he was able to catch Saunders way off his line from about 35 yards out. The chance was created by Johnson applying heavy pressure on Saunders, which forced the goalkeeper to play the ball near the edge of the penalty area. It was Caskey’s first career MLS goal.
Rose, who happens to be Caskey’s roommate, also got his first career goal. In the 88th minute, he took a pass from Marc Burch and slotted it inside the near post. Rosales was given a secondary assist on the play.
The Galaxy (10-11-3, 33 points) lost for the first time since July 4 but still sit fifth in the Western Conference. They return home to host Chivas USA next Sunday night in a crucial six-pointer.
The Sounders have now gone unbeaten in six (3-0-3) and moved all alone into third place in the Western Conference. They’re in action Wednesday night at Sporting KC in the US Open Cup final.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Eddie Johnson||For 80 minutes he was by far the best player on the field, scoring the first goal, setting up the next two and putting in the work all over the field|
|2||Alex Caskey||The youngster plays the ball early and accurately, which opens space for the rest of the attack. Add in some goals and assists, and it's clear he belongs|
|3||Mauro Rosales||This is what the Sounders wanted to see, as Rosales was a creative force in the midfield all game. Finally looks fit and healthy, and the assists are starting to pile up|