Depending on what happens between the Houston Dynamo and D.C. United next Sunday, the Nov. 11 contest between Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy and Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders is potentially the last designated home game for LA. Despite a slow start in the first half, goals from Robbie Keane and Mike Magee powered the Galaxy to another big win, a 3-0 shutout of the Sounders.
Let’s take a look at six things we learned from this mid-November encounter, part of the 2012 MLS Western Conference Championship.
1. Los Angeles strike at injury time
The token Irishman does it again.
Robbie Keane, in the only minute of first-half injury time, scored thanks to Landon Donovan and Sean Franklin, Keane, from close range, left Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning out to dry. That ended a first-half which was rather uneventful, marred by bad finishing and great defending from the Sounders. The goal is Keane’s fourth all-time in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
2. Seattle dominate key stats in first half
Aside from that late goal by Keane, the Sounders were rock-solid in the stat categories, leading in possession (53.8 percent to 46.2 percent), passing accuracy (85 percent to 80 percent), duels won (55 percent to 45 percent) and attempts on goal (five to four).
3. Here comes Mike Magee!
In the 64th minute, Mike Magee scored on a breakaway transition thanks to Sean Franklin to make it 2-0 Los Angeles. There is a reason why Magee has been dubbed as “Mr. November” by a lot of national soccer pundits: he somehow finds ways to score goals in November. And this was another to his collection.
4. And some more from Keano
In the 67th minute, Seattle were punished by Keane on the breakaway thanks to Mike Magee. No offsides call either. The Sounders were clamoring for one, but to no avail. 3-0 Los Angeles on Keane’s fifth goal of the postseason.
5. No Rosales = no goals for the Sounders
One player for the Seattle Sounders that was missing in action was Mauro Rosales. Rosales is Seattle’s top playmaker, and without him on the pitch, the Sounders struggled to get clicking offensively. Rosales must start next Saturday against the Galaxy or this Western Conference Championship might as well be over.
6. Advantage LA, but still anyone’s series
The Los Angeles Galaxy will come into the second leg with a 3-0 advantage, but they know that it’s still anyone’s series. If you recall, in the last meeting between both teams at CenturyLink Field, the Galaxy were destroyed 4-0. A similar performance like that will be enough for the Sounders to move on to their first MLS Cup Final just yet. However, it is tantamount that Bruce Arena’s men do not let up and at least draw the second leg or better yet, finish the job and cast aside their road woes in the Pacific Northwest.