CARSON, CALIF. - Seattle Sounders FC (13-11-5, 44 points) dropped a Western Conference contest to the LA Galaxy (11-11-8, 41 points) on Sunday afternoon, as the Rave Green fell by a final score of 3-0 at the StubHub Center in Southern California. Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara and Emmanuel Boateng were the difference in the contest, as the Galaxy now move to within three points of Seattle in the race for the postseason. Brian Schmetzer's side currently occupies the sixth and final Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot, three points ahead of LA and four points ahead of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Rave Green trail fourth-place Portland by three points and fifth-place Real Salt Lake by one point.
Ibrahimovic got the home side off the starting blocks early, converting a ninth-minute penalty attempt to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead. Moments earlier, fellow LA forward Ola Kamara was fouled inside Seattle's area by fullback Brad Smith, paving the way for the early spot-kick after referee José Carlos Rivero awarded the penalty.
LA doubled their advantage before the stroke of halftime, as Ibrahimovic played a dangerous ball across Seattle's 18-yard-box to an onrushing Kamara, with the Norwegian converting his shot at Stefan Frei's far post. The 40th-minute strike vaulted the Galaxy into a 2-0 lead at the intermission.
The Galaxy resumed its scoring ways in the 52nd minute, this time with Boateng providing the goal. The Ghanaian pounced on a Seattle misclearance inside the Rave Green's defensive third, moving LA's advantage to 3-0.
Following today's match in Southern California, Sounders FC returns to the Emerald City, closing out the month of September with a home contest against Colorado on Saturday, September 29. Kickoff for that game is slated for 1:00 p.m. inside CenturyLink Field, with regional television coverage being provided by JOEtv and Univision-Seattle, in addition to streaming via YouTube TV. Sports Radio 950 KJR AM and El Rey 1360 AM have the call on local radio.
- Sounders FC is now 13-11-5 on the season, and currently sits in the sixth and final Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot, three points ahead of LA and four points ahead of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Rave Green trail fourth-place Portland by three points and fifth-place Real Salt Lake by one point.
- After winning a league-record nine consecutive matches, the Rave Green have dropped two straight matches for the first time since June 2. The loss snapped a club-record seven-match road unbeaten streak dating back to June 14, as well as a four-match road winning streak that ranks second in club history (5 matches, August 6-October 22, 2011).
- Sounders FC is now 7-10-9 all-time against the Galaxy in MLS regular season play, including a 3-6-4 record at StubHub Center. The result snaps a six-match unbeaten streak (3-0-3) for Seattle against LA in regular-season play.
- Sunday snapped a streak of 13 matches in which Sounders FC allowed one goal or fewer, and its 32 goals allowed are tied for the fewest in MLS this season.
- Head Coach Brian Schmetzer deployed a 4-4-2 formation, with forwards Will Bruin and Raúl Ruidíaz starting together up front. Defender Román Torres started his first match since July 25 at San Jose, while rookie midfielder Handwalla Bwana was part of the First Team 18-man lineup for the first time since May 26 vs. Real Salt Lake. Bwana has missed time this season due to a midfoot sprain.
- Sounders FC managed just one shot on goal, its lowest single-game total since July 7.
Seattle Sounders FC 0 - LA Galaxy 3
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Venue: StubHub Center
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistants: Cameron Blanchard, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Armando Villarreal
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
Weather: 75 degrees and clear
LA - Zlatan Ibrahimovic (penalty) 9'
LA - Ola Kamara (Romain Alessandrini, Zlatan Ibrahamovic) 40'
LA - Emmanuel Boateng (Romain Alessandrini) 52'
LA - Rolf Feltscher (caution) 31'
LA - Daniel Steres (caution) 75'
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC - Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Víctor Rodríguez 54'), Román Torres, Kim Kee-hee, Brad Smith (Nouhou 17'); Cristian Roldan, Gustav Svensson, Osvaldo Alonso - captain (Jordan McCrary 79'), Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro; Will Bruin, Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Handwalla Bwana, Alex Roldan, Jordy Delem
Total shots: 14 (Ruidíaz, 6)
Shots on goal: 1 (Ruidíaz, 1)
Fouls: 11 (Four players, 2)
Offside: 1 (Ruidíaz, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Lodeiro, 4)
Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)
LA Galaxy - David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole; Emmanuel Boateng (Sheanon Williams 72'), Jonathan dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget (Ariel Lassiter 89'), Romain Alessandrini (Servando Carrasco 84'); Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara
Substitutes not used: Justin vom Steeg, Michael Ciani, Baggio Husidic, Perry Kitchen,
Total shots: 11 (Ibrahimovic, 4)
Shots on goal: 4 (Four players, 1)
Fouls: 8 (Feltscher, 3)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Alessandrini, 2)
Saves: 1 (Bingham, 1)