SEATTLE – It may not have been the prettiest of games for the Seattle Sounders, but in the end they have another piece of silverware for the trophy case.
The Sounders managed to pull out a 2-0, Supporters’ Shield-clinching victory over the LA Galaxy Saturday afternoon, in spite of getting everything they could handle from a hard-charging, if undermanned, LA squad that was playing with nothing to lose.
The Galaxy held 59 percent possession, outshot the Sounders 13-4 and looked like a more fluid and cohesive offensive side for large portions of the contest, despite playing without their most potent goal-scoring threat in forward Robbie Keane who was held out with what LA called a "nagging injury." The Galaxy were also without center back Omar Gonzalez, who had to sit out due to a red card suspension.
“I’m not going to put that in the category of one our best games overall,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid admitted after the game.
Ultimately, it wouldn’t matter.
The Sounders bagged their second trophy of the season, to go along with another triumph in the 2014 US Open Cup in September. Seattle snatched Saturday's victory on a huge go-ahead tally in the 85th minute from midfielder Marco Pappa (WATCH IT HERE), who had entered the game as a substitute just minutes earlier.
Pappa added the insurance for good measure in stoppage time after managing to strip LA ‘keeper Jaime Penedo of the ball at the top of the Galaxy penalty box before chipping it in for his second goal in eight minutes (WATCH IT HERE).
The victory marks the first Supporters’ Shield title in Seattle’s brief franchise history.
“The Shield is another feather in the cap of our organization,” Schmid said of the historical implications surrounding the victory. “People forget that we’re still a very young organization. We’re six years in and we’ve won four Open Cups and a Supporters’ Shield.”
Forward Clint Dempsey said the Supporters’ Shield holds a great deal of weight for Seattle, even if the MLS Cup is still the team’s ultimate goal.
“To me, if you look around at other leagues, when you win the league it’s a big deal,” Dempsey said. “And that’s how we’re going to treat it, as a big deal. No matter what the public thinks of it, we were the best team throughout the course of the year.”
Now, with the MLS Cup Playoffs next on the agenda, Seattle’s focus turns to getting greedy. Seattle host their first playoff match, the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals, at CenturyLink Field on November 10.
“Our mantra for this season was that we were going to try and be greedy,” Schmid said. “We have one more thing [the MLS Cup] to be the ultimate greedy people. We’ll enjoy it today and tomorrow. Then it’s back to work.”
Ari Liljenwall covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.