The LA Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw in Carson, unable to find the separation that could have redefined the Western Conference/Supporters' Shield race. LA found the go ahead goal, but it was disallowed on a soft foul call so the defining moment of the match remained a Juninho equaliser just before halftime.
Juninho turned in a man of the match performance including that equaliser. Seattle, which got called for eleven fouls in the first half and nineteen on the match, was playing quite physical on defence and in first stoppage time it paid off in the form of a free kick in front of the penalty area. Juninho managed to get the ball over the wall and curving away from Michael Gspurning.
LA completed three times as many passes in the final third as the Sounders and controlled possession much of the match. Juninho had 94 touches and Marcelo Sarvas 88 as the two of them drove the Galaxy offence forward. Robbie Keane looked out of place trying unsuccessfully to create for young forwards Jose Villarreal and later Jack McBean. Gyasi Zardes was more involved than Keane over the course of the match, even taking an excellent bending shot.
Seattle's goal came unsurprisingly from Eddie Johnson's head off a free kick. Omar Gonzalez was marking him but got picked off his man. No foul was called in the penalty area. There was however a call made on what could have been the match winning goal, one that Zardes poached but was eliminated by soft foul call on Todd Dunivant.
There's a thread of frustration with this result, perhaps more-so than in other home draws. It's always frustrating to give away two points at home, but especially when it was a winnable match if they only held their shape. Todd Dunivant and Omar Gonzalez were off their game. Hector Jimenez was useless. Keane couldn't get himself involved.
The team practiced all week without Donovan, so that isn't to blame. Getting absolutely no forward production is a legitimate issue. The youngsters don't appear to be the solution to said problem.
On the plus side, Laurent Courtois looked good in Jimenez' place. He looked gassed trying to go ninety minutes in CONCACAF Champions League, so if he's a starting option he'll need a capable sub. With A.J. DeLaGarza sidelined, Sean Franklin won't play up there any more.
Arena will likely have to put the reserves on the plane for this weeks CCL match (only a draw needed to take the group) with the away match against the Portland Timbers this upcoming weekend now looming even larger.
LA are one point behind the Timbers and will need to get at least the road draw to keep the status quo. Unless FC Dallas can pull off the upset tomorrow at New York, the fear isn't falling out of playoff contention but getting locked into the wildcard playoff is a concern. Salt Lake, who dropped points today, have to travel up to Vancouver next weekend. There's still a path where LA can feel comfortable going into October that they'll be in that two vs. three matchup, but it requires full focus on Portland.