Donovan leads Galaxy rout of Seattle
By MATT GASCHK
Sounders FC Insider
SEATTLE—All losses are tough to take.
A 4-0 home loss to the LA Galaxy is particularly biting to the Sounders FC though.
“You lose 4-nil at home, it can never be good,” Steve Zakuani said.
Head coach Sigi Schmid called it his toughest loss as Sounders FC head coach.
“We got beat and got beat solidly,” he said. “Not the kind of game you want to ever repeat again.”
Landon Donovan showed his MVP form of 2009, scoring once and assisting on the three other Galaxy goals while Donovan Ricketts had four saves as the Galaxy remained unbeaten at 7-0-1.
“Losing like this at home is never fun,” said Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who suffered his worst home defeat in a Sounders FC uniform. “We felt confident coming in and it just went wrong.”
Things got off on the right foot for the Sounders when Freddie Ljungberg looped a ball to Fredy Montero on the right side of the box. Montero headed it down in front of the goal to Brad Evans in front of an open net, but Montero was whistled offside and a clear goal-scoring opportunity was negated.
LA then found themselves on the right side of the ledger when Jovan Kirovski blasted a shot from 25 yards out that handcuffed Keller and ricocheted into the goal for a 1-0 Galaxy lead in the 22nd minute.
“I thought we were doing OK. We had a goal that was called back for offside and it wasn’t so that added to the frustration. Then I concede the bad goal,” Keller said. “It swerved on me, but this ball swerves every time it comes at you so there’s no excuses. It moved and I didn’t react in time.”
That score held until halftime, but the Sounders went in to the locker room without one of their midfield catalysts when Osvaldo Alonso went down with a right quad strain. Nathan Sturgis came on for Alonso and played well, but Alonso’s aggressive approach that saw him take three shots in the first 35 minutes was missed in the second half.
Seattle again went on the attack to start the second half, but Tyrone Marshall’s header off of a Ljungberg corner kick was stopped by Ricketts and the Galaxy turned that momentum their way. They earned a corner kick of their own and Donovan found Omar Gonzalez coming to the near post for a header that found the top corner for a 2-0 lead in the 52nd minute.
Before the Sounders could catch their breath, LA found the back of the net again with a header off of a deadball. This time Donovan took a free kick from distance and found Todd Dunivant for a near post header and a 3-0 lead in the 57th minute.
“The second goal was a good goal. Our marking could have been better, but I thought we were tight and he put it in the corner,” Schmid said. “The third goal was inexcusable. It skipped past two guys. You have to not hope that someone else will do what you’re supposed to.”
That 3-0 deficit snowballed into a four-goal shellacking in the words of Schmid when Edson Buddle crossed to Donovan for a goal in the 67th minute.
“It’s extremely disappointing. When you make mistakes, you suffer for them,” Ljungberg said. “We need to cut out those mistakes if we want to start winning.”
The loss drops the Sounders to 2-3-3 on the season, but more dissapointing than the record for Zakuani was the poor showing at home in front a sellout crowd of 36,273.
“The fans deserve a big apology. They can’t pay to watch that,” he said. “That wasn’t good enough today. But we’re professionals. We’re going to take that on the chin and hopefully put it right soon.”
Their first opportunity to put it right will come next Saturday when they play at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls.
LA - Jovan Kirovski (Landon Donovan, Michael Stephens) 22; Omar Gonzalez (Landon Donovan) 52; Todd Dunivant (Landon Donovan) 57; Landon Donovan (Edson Buddle) 67.
Seattle - None
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, Bryan Jordan, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Christopher Birchall, Chris Klein (Tristan Bowen 63), Landon Donovan (Clint Mathis 71), Edson Buddle (Alex Cazumba 75), Jovan Kirovski.
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall, Leo Gonzalez, Brad Evans (Sanna Nyassi 70), Osvaldo Alonso (Nathan Sturgis 37), Peter Vagenas, Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero (Miguel Montano 57), Steve Zakuani.