Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy wrapped up a very inconsistent 2012 Major League Soccer regular season with a scrappy 1-0 victory over Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. It was a mostly forgettable contest, with a lot of terrible finishing on both sides, but it was also a final tuneup before the serious games begin.
Here are six things we learned from the Oct. 28 contest between the Galaxy and Sounders.
1. Poor finishing might doom Los Angeles in November
The way the Galaxy have been leaving goals at the table, not only could they be eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs, but they could be taken out by Vancouver in the knockout round this Thursday. Just in the first half alone, Los Angeles had five shots off target.
2. Mike Magee strikes for Los Angeles
Off the radar! In the 83rd minute, after a very quiet 83 minutes of play marred by close calls on both sides, Mike Magee picked his spot thanks to Robbie Keane and powered home a shot from outside the box to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead late in the second half.
3. Disappointing display from Seattle
Meanwhile, Seattle knew that a win or draw on Sunday would affirm home field advantage against Real Salt Lake in the 2012 MLS Western Conference Semifinals. But they could not get a break this game, and a handball from Fredy Montero late in stoppage time was the epitome of a sorry night.
Montero was off. Eddie Johnson had to be subbed early. And Mauro Rosales looked all too human. This was not the 4-0 beatdown at CenturyLink Field. Instead, it was a comedy of errors for Seattle on Sunday.
4. We’ve seen better from Robbie Keane
There is no doubt about it; the fans at the Home Depot Center and elsewhere have seen better from Robbie Keane this season. On Sunday, his shots were wide, wide, wide. Keane left so many goals on the table that Seattle were lucky that it wasn’t worse for them. If Keane does not get the job done on Thursday against Vancouver, this could be an early exit.
5. Real Salt Lake now second in the West
With the victory, Real Salt Lake now finish second in the MLS Western Conference with a record of 17-11-6 (57 points), and as a result, RSL will earn home field advantage their Western Conference semifinal against Seattle in November. The Sounders drop to 15-8-11 (56 points).
6. Huge momentum heading into the knockout round for LA
With the Galaxy’s regular season finale win, Los Angeles improve to 16-12-6 and go into the Nov. 1 match with the Vancouver Whitecaps with massive amounts of momentum. Vancouver are coming off a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake and might be in a bit of a pinch. At least Canada got representation in the postseason.