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Seattle Sounders knock LA Galaxy out of MLS Cup playoffs

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Galaxy give up three goals due to comedy defending

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

You can't win if you can't defend.

The Galaxy put on a masterclass on how not to defend, giving Seattle three goals as the LA Galaxy were knocked out of the MLS Cup playoffs 3-2 Wednesday night in Seattle.

LA put out a first-choice lineup, while the Sounders were dealt a major blow when neither defensive midfielder Ozzie Alonzo nor attacking threat Marco Pappa were healthy enough to start.

And what a start indeed, The Galaxy had a horror beginning in the 5th minute when Donovan Ricketts spilled a routine cross inside the box, allowing Clint Dempsey to smash the rebound and gifting Seattle an early lead.

However, LA responded instantly, equalizing just a minute later. After an unsuccessful corner kick and subsequent cross, dos Santos dribbled on the left before finding Gyasi Zardes centrally, who used his studs to bring the pass down before Sebastian Lletget, cool as ice, raced onto the ball and passed a low shot past Stefei Frei and into the bottom right corner.

And then, the Galaxy gifted the Sounders another easy finish. Marking was nonexistent on an Andreas Ivanshitz restart, and with Steven Gerrard guilty of losing his man and Donovan Ricketts indecisive in the air, Nelson Valdez easily poked home the cross.

Once more however, LA fought back as Zardes neatly collected with his chest before his volley deflected off defender Brad Evans and into Frei's top left corner, leveling the score once again.

Both teams continued to fight for an opening, and when Robbie Keane fired a rocket outside the box, Stefan Frei got a vital touch to the shot, tipping it just enough to crash off the crossbar.

Steven Gerrard almost curled in a left footed curler from distance, but the attempt was a few feet wide. A little while later, Robbe Keane, looking extremely dangerous and up for the match, expertly brought down a long ball and cut back for dos Santos, but his shot was tame and bounced right at Frei.

Seattle responded when Nelson Valdez got the end of an Andres Ivanschitz cross, but the header was always going wide.

The beginning of the second half was all Sounders. Seattle had the first opportunity in the 48th when Clint Dempsey got on the end of a corner kick but Ricketts carefully let the attempt bounce out of play.

After a few costly errors, Ricketts did extremely well when Dempsey found an open header inside the box, diving at full strength to parry away what would have been a third goal for Seattle.

Obafemi Martins then maneuvered around AJ De La Garza inside the box before blasting a left footed shot over the net as the Sounders continued to put pressure on the LA back line.

Unbelievably, the Galaxy gave up a third goal due to shoddy defending. Again, a simple ball into the box became more complicated than necessary when AJ DeLaGarza skied a cross Ricketts really should have claimed, and in the scrum the ball bounced to Erik Friberg, who hit a quick left footed volley into an open net.

LA fought valiantly to equalize as Zardes and dos Santos had close attempts late, and Alan Gordon sent a header from deep in the box wide, but the Sounders prevailed, dooming the Galaxy to an early MLS Cup playoffs exit.