LA played much better this time around against the Sounders, but a couple defensive breakdowns, plus a muted attack that made only two shots on target all night, mean the Galaxy have yet to figure out the Supporters’ Shield leaders this season.
Sega Coulibaly made his MLS and Galaxy debut from the start, while Greg Vanney played both Victor Vazquez and Efrain Alvarez as wide playmakers in midfield, with Sacha Kljestan and Sebastian Lletget in the midfield with Jonathan dos Santos not in the squad.
In the first six minutes, Daniel Steres went down and needed attention for an apparent leg injury, and he was immediately replaced by Nick DePuy inside the opening 10 minutes, a truly unexpected change for the Galaxy.
Chicharito held possession but couldn’t get much going until Chicharito drew a penalty in the 20th minute, with Joao Paulo running into the striker, although Chicharito sold the foul. Sacha Kljestan stepped up and scored easily on Stefan Cleveland to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Jonathan Bond had another huge save in the 27th minute, with Yeimar Gomez Andrade’s one-timer at the far post looking goalbound, only for LA’s goalkeeper to snuff out the shot and keep Seattle off the board.
But the Sounders did get on the board in the 41st minute, with Gomez Andrade somehow being the unlikely scoring option. This time he headed in the corner to tie up the game for Seattle.
Moments later, Julian Araujo had a run for the ages on a counterattack for LA, and his cross ultimately got to Chicharito, but the striker’s redirect clanged off the corner of the post.
The teams went into the break with the score tied 1-1. The Galaxy had an edge in possession but the Sounders had more shots and shots on target through the first 45. All in all, the game in the first half was pretty even between the teams.
The 2nd half got off to a rough start for the Galaxy, with Raul Ruidiaz cleaning up a rebound off a nice save from Bond in the 49th minute to give the Sounders a 2-1 lead.
It looked as thought Chicharito had earned another penalty with about 15 minutes to play as Cleveland clattered through him, but the striker was deemed offside in the buildup and so nothing doing.
Samuel Grandsir was LA’s first sub of the 2nd half, replacing Alvarez in the 79th minute. The Galaxy pushed in the final minutes, but could not find the equalizer and ended the game without a result.
I think the Galaxy played pretty slow at times, and the tactical changes seemed to mean they were figuring things out more than what they’ve been doing lately with their standard 4-2-3-1 lineup. But they played hard throughout, they had to deal with Steres’ very early injury, and they took the lead. This is a doom and gloom result, but it’s obviously disappointing to lose the 100 percent record at home for the season.
There won’t be much rest before the next game, as the Galaxy have a road trip on Wednesday to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps, but that game will be in Utah because of the COVID restrictions in Canada. Vancouver just lost in their season restart on Friday, so we’ll see how the Galaxy do in this latest foray on the road.
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