CARSON, Calif. – After three scoreless games, the Sounders FC got just what they needed at the Home Depot Center Saturday night. The Sounders got back on the winning track with a 2-0 win over the red hot LA Galaxy to jump back into second place in the MLS Western Conference standings.
Seattle got goals from Steve Zakuani and Fredy Montero and Kasey Keller registered his seventh shutout this season as the Sounders won for the first time since a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo July 11.
The Sounders got off to a fast start, playing aggressive on the offensive end from the opening kick.
Then David Beckham, playing in his first MSL home game this season after a loan spell with AC Milan, was sent off with a red card for a tackle on Pete Vagenas at midfield. Vagenas and Beckham both went in hard for the ball, but Beckham caught his former Galaxy teammate high on the ankle with his boot and was given a straight red in the 17th minute.
Playing a man-up, the Sounders got on the board in the 22nd minute. Nate Jaqua corralled the ball on the right side of the 18 and knocked it back to Brad Evans, who went on a run up the right side of the box before blistering in a cross to Zakuani, charging in at the far post. He blasted it past LA keeper Donovan Ricketts for his third goal of the year to put the Sounders FC up 1-0.
They held that lead until halftime and started the second half with a slew of shots on Ricketts, but were unable to put one past him until the 55th minute.
Pete Vagenas whipped in a corner kick from the right side, where Nate Jaqua nodded it down into the six-yard box. Montero darted off the goal line and turned the volley into the net past Ricketts and two LA defenders for his tenth goal of the year, giving Seattle a 2-0 lead.
The rest of the match continued the contentious run of play as Tyrone Marshall was issued a second yellow card, leading to a red card ejection for a tackle on Landon Donovan in the 76th minute. And LA’s Eddie Lewis got a red card for a rough tackle on James Riley on the sideline.
Through it all, Seattle earned just their second road win of the year, as they improved to 2-4-4 away from Qwest Field.
Seattle got the win despite losing Freddie Ljungberg for the match just before kickoff. Ljungberg experienced disorientation and memory loss after landing on the team flight from Seattle to Los Angeles and was told by a doctor not to play in the game. Along with Ljungberg, Donovan missed the first half of the game after contracting swine flu last week. Donovan came on in the second half, but the Galaxy still had trouble generating scoring chances while playing a man-down.
This instance is not believed to be related to the two migraine headaches Ljungberg suffered earlier this season. His availability for the Sounders next match, a 7 pm kickoff against the New England Revolution at Qwest Field Thursday, will be determined when he sees a doctor in Seattle.