CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy sure aren't disappointed with their 3-0 romp over Seattle in Sunday night's first leg of the Western Conference Championship. But they were left with the nagging feeling they hadn't done everything they could have to put the series out of reach.
They dominated the second half and could have scored a fourth and perhaps a fifth goal, which would have made next weekend's series finale academic. Instead, they'll head north knowing the Sounders are quite capable of making up the difference – and the 4-0 defeat Aug. 5 at CenturyLink Field is evidence.
“I think if we're critical at all, we probably should have gotten the fourth goal,” captain Landon Donovan said. “When you have a team down, you have to bury them. That being said, if you would have told us at the start of the night, 'Do you want 3-0 at the end?' we would have taken it, but this is far from over. I myself have been a part of bigger comebacks than this. We have a long ways to go still.”
POSTGAME: LA know 3-0 doesn't mean series is over
Seattle played the Galaxy virtually even through the first 45 minutes, a span nearly devoid of chances for either side, but everything changed when Robbie Keane headed home Donovan's chip in stoppage, and LA pushed for more when they returned to the field for the second half.
With Seattle forging ahead in search of an equalizer, the Galaxy worked its counter to perfection, exploiting space, creating opportunities and pulling away with a pair of goals, from Mike Magee and again from Keane, in a four-minute span midway through the half. It would have been worse had Seattle not come up big on shots by Marcelo Sarvas and Donovan just a few minutes later.
“The game opened up, and we were looking at blood in the water and trying to push for as many goals as we could,” left back Todd Dunivant said. “We got three and we were pushing for four and five and were really close to getting it.
“We're not disappointed with a 3-0 win, but we were pushing for as many as we could, and we know that there's a lot of soccer still to be played, so we're trying to get as big an advantage as possible.”
“We feel good,” Donovan said. “There was a real turn in energy after the home loss to San Jose. All year we've created a number of chances in almost every game, and if we're sharp in front of the goal, we're going to score goals in every single game. And right now things are clicking. The back four and Josh [Saunders, in goal] have been terrific. David [Beckham] and Juninho have been terrific in front of them, and it's all leading to really good things for us.”