Galaxy beat Sounders to advance in playoffs

Edson Buddle and Omar Gonzalez scored from David Beckham’s spot

kicks in an 8-minute span of the first half to lead the Los Angeles

Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in Major League

Soccer’s Western Conference semifinal Sunday.

The Galaxy won the home-and-away series against Seattle 3-1 and

will next host FC Dallas in the Western Conference

Championship.

Buddle scored his second goal of the playoffs in the 19th

minute. He evaded defender Tyrone Marshall’s grasp to head

Beckham’s corner inside the left post from eight yards

(meters).

Gonzalez made it 2-0 in the 27th minute. After Beckham took a

32-yard free kick, Gonzalez dived to head the ball inside the left

post from seven yards (meters).

”It’s important for me to have players to put the ball on the

top of their heads or at their feet,” Beckham said. ”I know that

if I’ve got the ball in the right area, we have brave-enough

players and good-enough players to score.”

Steve Zakuani scored for Seattle in the 86th minute.

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena called Beckham’s set pieces

”terrific,” especially after the midfielder played the first

match on a wet artificial surface in Seattle.

”That was the difference in the game,” Arena said of Beckham’s

spot kicks. ”He had a tough week recovering from the field in

Seattle but he started coming around Friday.”

Beckham said he is not completely recovered after missing six

months due to a torn Achilles tendon. He suffered the injury in

March while playing on loan with AC Milan.

”Obviously, it’s kind of my pre-season,” Beckham said. ”I’m

still trying to get fit. I’m still getting the aches and the pains

of pre-season. If I look after my body (the way I have) since I’ve

been back, hopefully, I’ll continue to progress.”

Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts kept Sounders FC from scoring with

two vital saves either side of halftime.