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LA Galaxy - Seattle Sounders match recap

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Jaime Penedo with 10 saves to preserve the victory for LA

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On a warm Sunday afternoon, the Galaxy prevailed in the battle of MLS Cup champions vs. Supporters Shield winners, riding an Alan Gordon header and a man of the match performance from Jaime Penedo to defeat the Seattle Sounders 1-0 before a sellout crowd at the StubHub Center.

The LA Galaxy entered the match without two of their biggest offensive weapons in Robbie Keane and Jose Villarreal, choosing to field a 4-2-3-1 formation with Rafael Garcia entering the central midfield and Alan Gordon starting alone up top. 

Seattle were on the front foot early, often trying to spring Obafemi Martins in open space.  In the 9th minute, right back Tyrone Mears found Lamar Neagle in the box, and his glancing header required Penedo to acrobatically push the ball over the bar. On the ensuing corner kick, Chad Marshall met the ball unmarked and Penedo batted the ball wide, which bounced to Neagle but he whiffed from close range.       

The Galaxy's first chance came the 15th minute, when Stefan Ishizaki crossed near post to Gyasi Zardes, who's shot hit the side netting.

Neagle was the Sounder's most dangerous threat, consistently causing trouble for the LA defense. Sounders left back Dylan Remick located Neagle once again, but Penedo was able to make the stop.

The Galaxy emphatically took the lead in the 23rd minute. Near the Galaxy bench, Juninho fired a restart that Omar Gonzalez won inside the box, heading across the goalmouth to a racing Alan Gordon who nodded home. The goal ended a 290 minute scoreless streak for LA.

Soon afterwards, the ever threatening Lamar Neagle collected the ball and snaked around the Galaxy defense, but his open shot inside the box was saved by Penedo.

The second half began with Robbie Rogers making a darting run and firing near post from close range, forcing a quality stop from Stefan Frei

Jaime Penedo continued to have the hot hand in goal, stoning Lamar Neagle from just yards away after Tyrone Means had gotten behind the LA defense.

The Galaxy managed to find a few chances. Stefan Ishiziki softly chipped a free kick over Seattle Brad Evans to Alan Gordon, but his header was tame and Frei collected.

Late in the match, Jaime Penedo smothered a wide-open Aaron Kovar inside the box to complete his incredible performance.