LA Galaxy fall to Seattle Sounders
Eddie Johnson knows the only way he will be mentioned among the best MLS forwards is to score consistently. Lately, he has been doing exactly that for the Seattle Sounders.
Johnson scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season five minutes in, and Fredy Montero, Alex Caskey and Andy Rose added second-half goals in the Sounders' 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy played before MLS season-high crowd of 60,908 on Sunday night.
The Sounders (10-5-7, 37 points) won their second straight game and extended their unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1).
''The best players in the world are consistent week in and week out. Chris Wondolowski (of San Jose, who leads MLS with 17 goals) is a perfect example,'' Johnson said. ''That's one of my goals, to be up there where the rest of the guys are.''
Johnson put the Sounders on the board at the outset of the sixth minute. Mauro Rosales floated a target ball into the penalty area, and Johnson ran onto it, heading it into the back left corner from the top of goalkeeper Josh Saunders' 6-yard box.
Rosales has assisted on six of Johnson's 10 goals, including four of the last five.
''You've got to take your chances,'' Johnson said. ''Strikers, we're focused for 90 minutes, from minute one to minute 90-plus. Anytime you can get a free header, those are the ones you've got to take.''
The Galaxy (10-11-3, 33 points) had a two-game winning streak and five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) snapped.
''I think it was a little unfortunate, because if a few calls went our way, it could have made a difference,'' Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. ''We didn't play well in the penalty range, and it was the difference of the game.''
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Michael Gspurning earned his fourth shutout of the season. He played his first home game since May 2 and made his second straight appearance after missing 12 games with a hip injury.
Montero scored in the 52nd minute, Caskey hit in the 61st, and Rose finished the scoring in the 88th for Seattle.
''We felt in the first half, we were inches away from getting some combinations and connections to get behind them,'' Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. ''They're the kind of team that's very good offensively, but we felt that sometimes, there were some openings in the back that we could take advantage of.''
The Galaxy, whose 39 goals are second-most in MLS behind San Jose's 45, were shut out by the Sounders for the second time this season. They also lost 2-0 at Seattle on May 2.
The Los Angeles trio of Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane, with a combined 17 goals and 14 assists in the last 10 games, were shut out despite recording seven of the team's 13 shots.
''It was the perfect storm,'' Donovan said. ''We started the game poorly defending, all night we didn't attack well, and the officiating was awful. It just seemed like everything went against us, and we didn't play well.''
Montero made it 2-0 when he put in a rebound off of Saunders' hands, his sixth goal of the year.
Caskey, denied from point-blank range by Saunders on the play that led to Montero's goal, made it 3-0. He lobbed a 25-yard shot into the back right corner over Saunders, who had come way off his line to stop Johnson one on one. It was his first MLS goal.
Rose's wide-open shot from eight yards in front in the final minutes also was his first MLS goal.
Christian Tiffert, a midfielder with more than 280 games in the German Bundesliga, saw his first MLS action since being signed by the Sounders last Friday. He subbed into the game in the 64th minute, getting off one shot.