Unless a miracle of epic proportions happens, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy can kiss that MLS Supporters’ Shield goodbye. They needed to defeat Sigi Schmid’s Seattle Sounders and they failed to do that, managing just a 1-1 draw before a sellout crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
The Galaxy improve to 13-10-6 (45 points) but only move up to fourth place in the MLS Western Conference. Here are six things we learned from Saturday night’s tilt at Victoria Street.
1. Eddie Johnson’s hotstreak continues
Make that seven goals for Eddie Johnson, who scored his seventh of the season in the 25th minute off a header from Mauro Rosales. No one was going to get to that ball on the corner except for Johnson, who is out for a raise at the end of the year.
2. Juninho, you beauty!
Finally! Juninho opens his scoring account on a possible Goal of the Week contender in the second minute of second half stoppage time. Good kick, good placement, bottom left corner past Michael Gspurning.
“We have been waiting all year. It is probably his first goal of the year,” Arena told reporters. “On the night, we had a couple of good looks at the goal and we didn’t force their ‘keeper into making a whole lot of saves. I don’t know what the statistics say, but the final product on the night for us was poor. It was obviously the difference in the game.”
“Well I don’t know why we had a minute extra in the first half,” Schmid said of the goal. “I don’t think anything happened in the first half, there were no injuries, there was nothing, so why we played extra I am not quite sure, but it was a minute extra and a foul that we gave away. He hit a great free kick. I don’t think the wall was set the best, the ball was in an awkward spot.”
3. No Dempsey, no victory for Seattle
One player that didn’t show up on Saturday night was Clint Dempsey, who picked up an injury before the flight to Los Angeles. Talk about a bust.
“Dempsey was hurt before we left, hopefully he will be back for the New York game,” Schmid said of Deuce. “It is something we have to see, it is a little bit of a hamstring and we will see how he recovers over the next three to four days. He is getting treatment in Seattle right now, so we will check on Tuesday and see where he is at, then monitor him the rest of the week.”
4. A decent performance from Jose Villareal
He is no Landon Donovan, but Jose Villareal did a relatively good job with the chances he had, in spite of the finish not being there. The more minutes Villareal logs in, the greater his confidence, and you can expect JV to be in the lineup next week against Cartagines.
“He is still a young player, playing against a team with experienced players in the back obviously,” Arena said of Villareal. “They played us hard. They fouled us a lot, obviously they had a player sent off because of that, but he did a good job. We just weren’t good enough in the final third of the field with the final pass or our look at the goal and it made a difference in the game.”
5. Los Angeles can’t close out against the best of them
After Zach Scott was sent off late in the second half for a second yellow card, the Galaxy had three chances to put the game away. Two shots were saved and the third hit the side netting. Los Angeles need to do a better job at finishing from close distance when they are a man up because every point matters at this stage in the season.
6. Another day of stats domination from LA
Los Angeles finishes their regular season home campaign against Seattle unbeaten, with a win and a draw. The match statistics suggest that this could have been a victory. But poor finishing late prevented Los Angeles from an important victory that would have made the Western Conference race a little bit tighter.
|LA Galaxy||Seattle Sounders FC|
|11||Attempts on Goal||7|
|2||Shots on Target||2|
|7||Shots off Target||3|
|25||Open Play Crosses||7|
|0||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||1|
|53%||Duels Won %||46%|
|81%||Passing Accuracy %||67%|