SEATTLE – For head coach Bruce Arena and the LA Galaxy, Sunday’s 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field would qualify as one of those draws that almost felt like a victory.
The Galaxy battled Seattle to the deadlock following a 78th-minute equalizer from substitute Sebastian Lletget that allowed LA to escape with a point, a result that Arena said is a satisfying one considering the come-from-behind nature and what he says were unforgiving conditions at CenturyLink.
“I think those conditions out there today were brutal for both teams,” Arena told reporters at his post-game press conference. “The field was difficult to play. It felt like it was 100 degrees on the field. That was a rough day. For us to sneak out of here with a point, we’re not looking back.”
Sunday’s result might not have been materialized for LA if not for some heroic defending, particularly from Jelle Van Damme. The Belgian defender cleared two shots off the line that looked to be headed into the Galaxy net during the contest, the first on a shot from Sounders forward Clint Dempsey and the second from standout rookie Jordan Morris.
“Huge,” LA goalkeeper Brian Rowe said of Van Damme’s performance “He had two goal-line saves for us, which is always big. They missed a couple of good opportunities that were close, so it’s one of those ones where you kind of count the clock go down and you’re just happy to walk out of here.”
The draw also means that the Galaxy made it through the month of July with an undefeated 4-0-1 record in five MLS matches, a strong run of form that midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said is especially impressive given the rigorous nature of the summer portion of the MLS schedule.
“I think one thing that players who’ve been around the league know is that these are the dog days of summer,” Larentowicz said. “July, August, it gets difficult. But at the same time, if you can come together and get points, you’re going to be in a good spot towards the end of the year.”