The LA Galaxy defeated the Seattle Sounders in their final match of the regular season 1-0, and they did it on the strength of folk legend Mike Magee and Galaxy Player of the Year Robbie Keane. The Irishman, who has really come into form since the Euros, laid it off to Magee who was able to curve it into the bottom corner.
LA and Seattle played about even on attempts and shots on target, with each team making the goalkeeper work four times. Outside of Magee's goal there were also attempts by Donovan, Wilhelmsson, and Buddle. However, it was Keane's chance that bounced off the crossbar in the 53' that was probably the Galaxy's best missed opportunity. It was a floater than damn near fell in, only to bounce wickedly off the crossbar.
"Tonight was a real good game, very competitive game. Two good teams and to come out on top is terrific. I think this was a good week for our team, to win in El Salvador and then the win tonight."
The Galaxy move on to host the Vancouver Whitecaps in a play in game for the right to face the San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference Semifinals. Seattle, as a result of the loss, sinks to third place and will have to close out their tie with RSL in Salt Lake.
The Western Conference playoffs should be at the very least an entertaining experience. Three points separate second place from fourth, and all four top teams have played each other in the last month. The Galaxy went 1-1-1 through that time, which should give the team encouragement going forward.
After the match, the Galaxy handed out their end of the year awards as voted on by players and media. A.J. DeLaGarza was deservingly given Defender of the Year, and Robbie Keane was deservingly given Player of the Year.
Keane spoke after the match about how he played more of a number 10 role like Landon Donovan does for the Galaxy when he was over in Europe. With his assist tonight he finished tied with David Beckham for assists on the year.
Over here he's been thought of more as a striker, and certainly when he's paired with Donovan that's how they work together. With Buddle now, Keane has started to drop back more, creating just as often as he's letting loose. The problem is Buddle not being on the talent level with Keane and Donovan. He's rarely in the spot that Keane would like him to be.
After the match, Arena said that it's going to take more than the starting XI to get through this playoff period. Young players like Bryan Gaul, Tommy Meyer, Michael Stephens, and Jose Villareal are going to be called on for some real minutes if the Galaxy are to make it through.
So let's keep watching.